Three GTA bands Jasmine T, No Excuses, and Shudder rocked out for Urban Wildlife Care on the afternoon of Sat. Feb. 23, at Stonewalls Restaurant.
Stonewalls Restaurant is a lively restaurant, bar and live music venue in downtown Hamilton. Although recently coming under new management, the staff and regular customers are happy to hear that the venue will continue on as normal.
Danielle Eastick has been working at Stonewalls as a waitress and bartender for six and a half years.
“The fact that I’ve been here for so long means a lot,” said Eastick. “I’ve worked in a bunch of restaurants that never felt like a family, but Stonewalls has that.”
The general manager is usually in charge of the live music booking, but with the new management, the positions are changing.
“On Fridays and Saturdays, we tend to book classic rock bands,” said Eastick. “But we generally accept anyone, as long as they play music that we can dance to.”
Cara Contardi is the organizer of Rock for Wildlife and runs Urban Wildlife Care, a wildlife rehabilitation business, out of her home in Grimsby, Ontario.
“Actually we created this event when a band approached us about starting a fundraiser, Stonewalls was very kind in donating the venue,” said Contardi. “Unfortunately, a week before this concert the guitar player quit, and we were scrambling to find a band. This all ended up coming together in about a week, Dianne from Jasmine T was kind enough to step up, and that’s what really got the ball rolling.”
The second band to play that afternoon was No Excuses, an Alice in Chains tribute band. Les Wheeler, the bass guitarist, started the band.
“I just happened to run into a singer that sounded exactly like Layne Staley, he was auditioning for another band that I was in.” said Wheeler. “From there, we found our guitarist and drummer, and we’ve been playing for about a year now. I’ve played here at Stonewalls before with another band, the staff always treats you right and it’s a great sign to see these bars keep playing live music.”
Cover for the afternoon was $10, an average price- which not only was donated to the fundraiser, but also submitted you into the raffle with a chance to win $100. If you wanted to donate further, Urban Wildlife Care had a merchandise table set with t-shirts, buttons, lip balm, and more.
The menu prices range from $6.50 for soup, to $19.50 for lobster poutine. Besides food, the bar offers local drafts, wine, and a full cocktail menu- with the most expensive pints pricing around $8-9.
“We can make almost everything here vegan,” said Eastick. “You can substitute the meat and cheese in our sandwiches, we offer dairy-free products including mayonnaise- we actually only sell vegan mayo, and a lot of customers say it’s even better! The original owner’s wife was vegan, so they liked to experiment with the menu.”
The Rating: I’d give Urban Wildlife Care’s fundraiser at Stonewalls a five out of five. Not only are you listening to talented bands in an inclusive restaurant, but you can rest assured that your money is helping some furry critters in need.