Fundraisers, Not Fire: Tess’ Lark Tavern

UPDATE: Here’s the latest info on the May 22 fundraiser for Tess’ Lark Tavern, being held in Washington Park. Including schedule of bands…

We’re still numb.

And heartbroken.

It’s Monday – the day that we gather at Tess’ Lark Tavern for our weekly Guinness Club meeting. Chat about art and music. Joke with the lovely Nicole. And enjoy a pint (or two) of stout.

We’ve been doing it for more than five years now, but of course, it won’t be happening today. Or next week. Or the week after that. It won’t happen for a long time. But it will happen again.

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It’s time to get to work and start rebuilding Tess’ Lark Tavern after it was destroyed by a fire last Thursday morning.

Many of you, I’m sure, have already donated to the cause. Alien Nation at the Fuze Box raised $800 on Friday night. The Albany All Stars Roller Derby are accepting donations for Tess, too. And thanks to your incredible generosity, Matt Baumgartner’s Friday Puppy site has already received more than $20,000 in donations for Tess and her crew.

Most of the bars around the Lark Street area are collecting money, too, so if you’re out having a beer, please leave an extra dollar or two and tell the bartender to give it to Tess. At 5pm Thursday, the Nottingham Chop House is hosting a Help Lark Tavern night.

Beginning at 10am on Sunday, May 23, the Orlo School of Hair Design is hosting a Cut-A-Thon for Tess. Make an appointment and get your hair cut and styled – just $20 a pop. All proceeds to Tess.

And naturally, there are going to be lots of benefits shows in the offing, as well. For example, Erin Harkes is playing a benefit at the Fuze Box on Friday, May 21.

And Samson Contompasis of the Marketplace Gallery started putting together a benefit for Tess Collins and her girls even before the smoke cleared from the tavern. Here are some of the details, and we’ll be sure to pass along more as they become finalized:

WHERE: The Washington Park Lakehouse, Washington Park, Albany
WHEN: 1-11pm, 3-8pm, Saturday, May 22
WHAT: “Rock to Rebuild: A Benefit for Tess’ Lark Tavern” (Facebook)
Silent auction: 1-5pm 4-7pm
ADMISSION: $10 $25 donation (includes beer)

If you’re interested in donating goods or services for the silent auction, contact Jasen Von Guiness:

If you’re interested in donating work for the art auction, contact Samson Contompasis:

If you’re interested in volunteering to help out at the event, contact

UPDATE: Changes going on. The Washington Park Lakehouse benefit is now slated for 3-8pm, rather than 1-11pm. Suggested donation is now $25, which includes beer. There will also be an additional benefit at Contompasis’ Marketplace Gallery in Albany after the Lakehouse bash featuring bands, poets and an art auction.

NOTE: And if you know of a benefit or an event that’s helping to raise money for Tess’ Lark Tavern, please let be sure to let know about it:

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One Response to “Fundraisers, Not Fire: Tess’ Lark Tavern”

  1. Rick says:

    From the Albany Poets Blog:


    For over five years Tess’ Lark Tavern has been the home of Poets Speak Loud. What started out in January 2005 as a monthly open mic for poetry has become much more than that, it has become a family. Through the support and generosity of Tess and the welcoming, warm hearted nature of her staff, the Lark Tavern has become a home not just to poets on the last Monday of the month, but the entire community.

    Over the years, the Poets Speak Loud open mic has featured local poets such as Emily Gonzalez, The Poet Essence, Cheryl A. Rice, Michael Eck, Mother Judge, Rich Tomasulo, Alan Catlin, A.C. Everson, Jil Hanifan, Nicole Peyrafitte, R.M. Engelhardt, Dain Brammage, Amanda Rose, Josh McIntyre, Philip Levine, Rachael Zitomer, Pierre Joris, Will Nixon, Don Levy, Robert Milby, John Weiler, Jason Crane, Carolee Sherwood, Carol Graser, and many, many more. This time we are featuring the Lark Tavern!

    Now is your chance to give back and be a part of the rebuilding of Tess’ Lark Tavern. On Monday, May 24, at Valentines (upstairs) POETS HELP NOW.

    This is an Open Mic Event. Come on out, share your words, thoughts and experiences for Tess and her Staff!

    Sign-up starts at 7:00pm. We will begin the open mic at 8:00pm. Get there early as we are expecting a big crowd!

    $5 Donation at the door and ALL proceeds are going to Tess and the staff of Tess’ Lark Tavern to use for the rebirth of the Tavern.

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