Upper East Side Dogs Toast Cinco de Mayo With 'Barkaritas'

By Victoria Bekiempis on May 2, 2013 6:40am 

UPPER EAST SIDE — Happy Cinco de Barko!

Neighborhood grooming salon Doggie-Do & Playtime Too, on East 76th Street, is inviting festive fidos to toast Cinco de Mayo with "barkaritas" at a benefit party Thursday evening.

Thirsty pups will be able to lap at the kale-containing beverage, prepared by organic dog chef Kevyn Matthews, as they celebrate the Mexican holiday, said Doggie-Do co-owner Louis D'Alessio.

"It's all natural," D'Alessio, 35, said. "It's of course non-alcoholic."

Dog owners will be able to sip their own margaritas and sangria at the fete, scheduled for 6 p.m. at the 348 E. 76th St. shop.

"We're going to have Mexican music playing," D'Alessio said. "We're encouraging people to bring their dogs dressed up in a Mexican costume, or at least a sombrero."

The party aims to raise funds for K9 Kastle, a small rescue organization located in the East Village.

The event is a themed version of Doggie-Do's "Yappy Hour" parties, pooch-friendly socials that occur several Thursdays each month. 

Between 50 and 75 people — and many dogs — are expected, D'Alessio said. 

Though the event is free, proceeds from raffle tickets will go toward the charity, and prizes include T-shirts and grooming services, he said.

Doggie-Do also promises a fun party game at its first-ever Cinco de Mayo event: limbo for both canines and their keepers.

"You're going to have to bribe them to get them across the threshold," he said of the limbo stick. "We'll put a treat on the other end to see how good they can get down.

"Some dogs, they can get pretty low on the ground."

This is not the first time Doggie-Do has done a themed Yappy Hour, D'Alessio said.

The shop recently hosted an ice cream social, as well as a Harlem Shake shindig.

"We had the dogs come and dressed them up in costumes," he said.

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