The Wonder Bar Kicks Off Popular ‘Yappy Hour’ For Dogs And Their Owners Benefiting Asbury Boardwalk Rescue And Other Animal Rescue Organizations
Asbury Park’s infamous Wonder Bar is excited to announce the seasonal grand opening of its wildly popular Yappy Hour on Saturday, April 6 from Noon until 7pm at the Wonder Bar’s outdoor Yappy Deck (1213 Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park). The Yappy Hour’s grand opening is open to guests and their dogs to enjoy while benefitting the Asbury Boardwalk Rescue. The Wonder Bar will also play host to an exciting lineup of additional pet-friendly events and fundraisers benefitting different animal organizations and charitable causes throughout the year.
Yappy Hour has become one of New Jersey’s most popular dog meet-ups, attracting visitors from all over the Tri-State area, as well as spectators from all over the world. On a busy day, the event has garnered between 300-400 furry visitors at one time. Local legend, Bruce Springsteen has even been known to stop by to enjoy Wonder Bar’s Yappy Hour.
This year’s Yappy Hour deck will be complete with twelve swimming pools for dogs, an agility course and even a special time out area for those dogs who need a space to unwind or spend some time with their owner getting used to the fun. There will be a $5.00 entrance fee on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Memorial Day Weekend until September, with proceeds benefitting the Asbury Boardwalk Rescue—a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing care for the homeless animals of Asbury Park and the surrounding area. The Yappy Hour deck is open to customers 21 and over. Alongside is a connected, fenced-in area with tables and chairs to welcome those under 21 to watch the dogs romp around and enjoy something from the Wonder Bar food menu. The grand opening will feature food and drink specials and the event will also be selling Yappy Hour 2019 season passes for $60.00. Sundays in the summer will feature outdoor live acoustic bands on the Yappy deck (unplugged, of course, for the safety of puppies’ ears).
Yappy Hour will open with a limited schedule in April and May, and starting in June will be open every day, weather permitting, and welcomes guests according to the following schedule:
April and May Hours:
Monday, 4pm – 7pm – Small Dogs Only
Friday, 4pm – 8pm – All Sized Dogs
Saturday/Sunday, Noon – 7pm – All Sized Dogs
June – September:
Monday, 4pm – 8pm – Small Dogs Only
Tuesday, 4pm – 8pm – All Sized Dogs
Wednesday, 4pm – 8pm – Small Dogs Only
Thursday/Friday, 4pm – 8pm – All Sized Dogs
Saturday/Sunday, 12pm – 8pm – All Sized Dogs
All dogs must be neutered and have a current proof of rabies documentation. Choke, prong and spike collars are not permitted as well as toys or dog food. Owners are expected to pick up after their dogs as well as be diligent about watching them. The Wonder Bar is extremely mindful of the safety and comfort of both its canine and human guests and for the enjoyment and safety of all, “Doggie Bouncers” are present during Yappy Hour to help both its four-legged and two-legged friends remain well behaved, well-mannered and abide by the rules to ensure a great time for all.
The Wonder Bar is a true classic landmark in Asbury Park, just steps from the beach and known for its colorful paint job, great live music, tasty food and the world-famous Yappy Hour—where dogs run the show. Yappy Hour was started in 2006 by Wonder Bar’s general manager Debbie DeLisa, an award-winning humanitarian in the Asbury Park community who is known for putting on many animal-friendly benefits over the years. The idea of Yappy Hour brings pet owners and their four-legged friends to the Wonder Bar’s fenced-in Yappy Deck to enjoy the outdoor facilities and also raise awareness to loved pets as well as homeless and abused animals.
Debbie DeLisa’s passion for pet-friendly events was inspired by her love of animals and her travels over the years where she noticed unique pet-friendly places and events popping up all over, like the quaint outdoor cafés, where she studied abroad, in Switzerland that would allow dogs to sit with their owners or a swanky South Beach hotel she knew of that would host Sunday Tea where owners could bring their dogs along. She opened Wonder Bar in 2002 alongside boyfriend Lance Larson, a musical legend in Asbury Park, and in 2006, she started using a tiny outdoor deck on the side of the Wonder Bar to hold her own Yappy Hour events. Encouraged to keep the event going, it wasn’t long before Debbie expanded the area to the larger ‘Yappy Deck’ that we know of today.
“I started Yappy Hour as a platform to hold fundraisers and bring awareness to rescues benefitting animals in need, while also building a strong comradery within a community of pet lovers by giving them the chance to socialize and meetup for a good cause,” says DeLisa.
The success of Yappy Hour has introduced Debbie DeLisa to many fellow animal advocates within the community, allowing her to expand beyond Yappy Hour to help other great causes and host even more animal-friendly events at Wonder Bar. For example, local animal-lover Connie Breech, an owner of two pugs and a passionate fan of the breed, partnered with Wonder Bar to start Pugapalooza six years ago which benefits Pug Squad (a 501c3 rescue organization). The popular event attracts pugs and pug lovers who drive hours to attend and make a weekend out of it. This year, the three-day long event will take place Friday, May 3 – Sunday, May 5, with the main event at Wonder Bar on Saturday, May 4 which will include vendors, giveaways and music. Following the main event will be a Pug Brunch on Sunday, ending with a “Pink Pug Promenade” where pugs are dressed up in their brightest pink finery and paraded from the Wonder Bar up to the boardwalk. Guest judges award prizes to the “pinkest pug,” “pinkest pug couple,” and “best grumble.” The Empress Hotel is the event’s host hotel.
Wonder Bar’s schedule of events benefitting various animal rescues includes:
- April 6-7 Yappy Hour Seasonal Grand Opening Weekend, Noon-7pm $5 admission benefitting Asbury Boardwalk Rescue
- April 13 Bullypalooza 1-4pm (rain date April 20) benefitting the MidAtlantic Bulldog Rescue, $10 admission
- April 20 Pitties and Pals Rescue Benefit
- April 27 Monmouth County SPCA Benefit
- April 28 Associated Humane Society Tinton Falls Benefit
- May 4 Pugapalooza: Main Event, 1-5pm $10 suggested donation
- May 5 Pugapalooza: Pug Brunch and “Pink Pug Promenade”, 11am-2pm
- May 11 Rescue Ridge Benefit
- May 12 Marty’s Place Rescue for Senior Dogs Benefit
- May 18 Husky House Benefit
- May 19 Skyland Sanctuary Benefit
- May 25 Asbury Boardwalk Rescue Benefit
- May 26 Little Paws Dachshund Rescue Benefit
- June 1 Wag On Inn Rescue Benefit
For more information about Yappy Hour, including weather updates, events and other details, please visit https://www.facebook.com/WonderBarYappyHour/.
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ABOUT THE WONDER BAR
Just steps from the beach and the Asbury Park Boardwalk, The Wonder Bar is a true icon in Asbury Park, known for great live music, tasty food and the world famous Yappy Hour—where dogs run the show. Known for its colorful paint job, the Wonder Bar is all about having fun, from the tunes to the Tiki-bar to the Yappy Hour, a good time is a guarantee. The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park is a favorite gathering place for locals, visitors, and even a world recognized destination for international guests. Like The Stone Pony, the musical history of the Wonder Bar is associated with such famous local legends as Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Clarence Clemons, Lance Larson and many others. For more information on Wonder Bar, Yappy Hour and upcoming events calendar, please visit https://wonderbarasburypark.com.
Pup in the Pool. Photo Credit Conni Freestone