Business Buzz: Martinis & Mistletoe, debuting Dec. 8, is chamber's newest event

Bryan Honda’s showroom is getting a makeover.

Granted, it’s for one special night only. But, oh, what a night it promises to be.

Martinis & Mistletoe will debut Dec. 8, a presentation of the Greater Fayetteville Chamber with sponsorship by Storage King. The showroom will be transformed into a winter wonderland and competition is from 6 to 11 p.m. at 4104 Raeford Road.

Area bars and restaurants will mix up their best martini and compete for the vote of the people. Registration has been brisk; only a limited number of spots remain and are likely to be claimed this week.

“In addition to competing for the best martini,” said Christine Michaels, the chamber’s president and CEO, “our mixologists will also be trying to wow attendees by decorating their bars — either for the holidays, or in keeping with the theme of their martini entry.”

Michaels, 53, was selected to lead the chamber earlier this year. In October, the chamber introduced Bikes & BBQ at Fort Bragg Harley-Davidson, a community event with a bike show, music, vendors, kid’s area, barbecue from The Blind Pig and samplings of craft beer. The inaugural was roundly successful, so much so that a 2018 date was secured with Harley-Davidson last week.

Michaels said Martinis & Mistletoe has been one of the most popular events of the year in other areas she’s worked. She led Florida chambers in Brandon and Melbourne, and another in Alexandria, Virginia, before being tapped for the Fayetteville post.

“They bring it — their best recipes, really unique stuff, and they are into the competition,” Michaels said of previous competitions she has helped lead. “The bars usually take it very seriously, because they get a plaque to put behind their bar that says they have the best martini. They put on a show, like the movie ‘Cocktail,’ and its super festive.”

She added that the heavy hors d’oeuvres will be almost like a meal, and everybody gets a souvenir martini glass to take home.

“We bring in a professional Santa with all the trappings for the photo opportunities,” Michaels said. “It’s a lovely event. Happy times.”

The chamber, on its website, touts the event as a possible corporate holiday party event for employees and customers. Companies can participate by attaching their name to a bar in sponsorship.

There is a cash prize for the winning bartender, and a gift for the best decorated bar.

For those attending, tickets will include martini sampling and a ballot for their favorite concoction. In addition to its host location role, Bryan Honda is sponsoring Santa; Will Jones, sponsored by H&H Homes and the Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, will provide music; and the Ramada Plaza will provide a dessert bar and a coffee bar.

“We want to make sure we have responsible consumption, and we are encouraging the use of Uber, taxis and designated drivers for the evening,” Michaels said.

Bars, restaurants and caterers interested in participating should contact Kelly Moore at the chamber. Her email is kmoore@faybiz.com and the phone number is 433-6775.

Tickets to attend are available through the chamber’s website at faybiz.com.

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Craig Ballantyne

I love anything to do with Harley Davidson and have two beautiful children and a beautiful partner. In my spare time i like building websites and love anything to do with the internet.

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