Houston Charity Guide
a little love from the barkeep

13 Houston bartenders boldly bare it all for charity calendar

13 Houston bartenders boldly bare it all for charity calendar

Slinging Love bartender calendar
Find the calendar at bars across Montrose, downtown, and The Heights. Photo by Alex Crawford

A group of Houston bartenders are stripping down for a good cause. The newly released Slinging Love calendar features 13 drink makers in cheeky nude poses.

Organized by Catbirds owner Shelly Wilburn, the calendar aims to raise $15,000 for the Houston Area Women’s Center. It’s on sale now for $15 at a number of the local watering holes where the participants work, including Rudyard’s, Penny Quarter, Poison Girl, Houston Watch Co., The New Potato, and Catbirds.

“For 20 years, the running joke has been we’re going to make a calendar of all these Montrose bartenders. [Supporting HAWC] was the motivation to get it done,” Wilburn tells CultureMap.

Inspired by pinup girls from the ’30s and ’40s, Wilburn put together an idea board. Alex Crawford, a photographer who works at Ralph Smith Studios, took all the pictures. Former Catbirds bartender Zach Doyle helped Wilburn recruit participants. The bartenders, who work at places such as OKRA, The New Potato, Present Company, and more, contributed some suggestions of their own.

“For example, Mike McMullin from OKRA, wanted to be Mr. January and pineapples are good luck,” Wilburn says. “I went and bought pineapples. I’m, like, I don’t know what to do with these. It kind of went from there.”

Generally, the photos are more amusing than titillating. In addition to pineapples, strategically placed picnic baskets, Christmas presents, and a watering can keep the pictures strictly PG.

“I like how it’s very much, we’re going to support the women in our lives with the men in our lives,” Wilburn says. “It’s not sexual. It’s mostly comical.”

As for next year, she’s already heard from bartenders who were disappointed that no one invited them to participate. She’s also contemplating a version with female bartenders dressed up as what they wanted to be when they grew up. Assuming the calendars sell out, it will have been a good experience.

“We had 13 guys get naked for us, and it was fantastic,” Wilburn says.

Here are the men of the Slinging Love calendar: