Sun and fun near one of the state’s Top Ten beaches is paw-fection when your favorite canine companion is by your side.
The new season of the WonderBar’s Yappy Hour begins Saturday with expanded hours and more new features. I spoke with the creator of Yappy Hour, manager of the WonderBar, Debbie DeLisa to learn everything you will want to know.
TBP: Where did the idea for Yappy Hour originally come from?
DeLisa: Yappy Hour was started from an idea I got in Florida while working for Eastern Airlines. My friend Don Lass told me about a hotel in South Beach Miami where they had Sunday Soiree’s for people to bring their dogs.
This intrigued me and I started researching it online. I found a nightclub in Los Angeles called “Sky Bark” which catered to dogs and I was totally amazed. I knew this would be a perfect concept to bring here, thus Yappy Hour was born and named by one of our partners, Rocky Bonoforte.
TBP: It started six years ago on the WonderBar’s Fifth Avenue patio and then quickly grew.
DeLisa: Yappy Hour was an instant hit and when Madison Marquette took over the Wonder Bar, Gary Mottola designed the south deck where it has been held for the past three years.
TBP: And FYI for single people reading this, I hear it’s almost a slam-dunk to meet someone at Yappy Hour.
DeLisa: Everybody loves it – the dogs and the people. It is a time to socialize for all involved. We have Dog Security on hand and the area is fenced in but we expect all our customers to take personal responsibility for their dogs.
People travel from all over the tri-state area to attend Yappy Hour with their four-legged friends. It is now known all over the world – people from Australia to Thailand to the Caribbean Islands. It has become a true sensation.
We have even had birthday parties and special events on our doggy deck.
TBP: What do you have in store for the new season?
DeLisa: This year there will be slight differences to better manage the crowds – many summer nights 150 to 200 dogs come to hang out. (Click here for complete rules.)
We will be sectioning off the eating area and our canine friends will have to be registered to ensure their shots and vaccinations are up to date. Please remember to bring proof when you come – you will only have to do it once.
We are also expanding Yappy Hour to four nights a week, with Tuesday evening only for small dog. There will be more swimming pools as well as a new misting system to keep our little ones refreshed as well. For their owners, there will be more acoustic music on the deck.
The WonderBar’s Yappy Hour Season Six: Begins Saturday (April 14) with a pre-registration event tonight, Thursday (April 12). Hours are Tuesday (small dogs 25 pounds or less only) and Thursday, 5 to 9 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 6 pm. Open weather permitting through Fall.
Call 732.502.8886 or visit Facebook.com/WonderBarYappyHour for more info and special events.