The Drifters Cocktail Lounge in Canyon Country is having one last hurrah at its current location with a toy drive and a final New Year’s Eve party planned for next week.
On Wednesday, Dennis Marazzito, owner of Drifters Cocktail Lounge, organized his annual toy drive in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Fire Department Station 107, in Canyon Country. Marazzito donated more than 100 toys – bicycles, tricycles, stuffed animals, board games and more – from the community to children in need.
“We gathered toys from all our patrons and everyone in the community that comes in and wants to help out,” Marazzito said. “We’re pretty blessed to be able to hang out, have a good time and make money doing it. So, we try to (help and donate) around as best we can.”
Fire Station 107’s crew picked up the toys and will deliver them to families and children on Christmas Day, according to Marazzito.
Marazzito’s son, Hendrix, helped out, too. Hendrix was a toy tester for toys that needed assembling.
“I did a little testing. I don’t like being a toy tester. I’d rather be running around,” Hendrix said jokingly.
Marazzito said he enlisted his 5-year-old to make sure some of the toys that needed assembling worked fine.
Leticia Felix, a firefighter at Fire Station 107, said they request donations such as toys and stuffed animals, and they collect them throughout December.
“This is my first experience and I had no idea that we do this (a toy drive with the Drifter’s Cocktail Lounge),” Felix said. “I learned about this in the morning how they work together and it’s awesome.”
This would be the last toy drive at the existing Drifters Cocktail Lounge because Marazzito and his staff will move to a new location in January and open by St. Patrick’s Day. Drifters will be torn down and the area will be constructed into new apartments, Marazzito added.
“My family’s had (the Drifters Cocktail Lounge) for about 12 years now, and I took it over from my dad in 2017 when he passed away,” Marazzito said. “There’s nothing I could do about it. It’s sad, but it’s going to be a good step forward.”
Marazzito said they will move to Valencia where Mulligans used to be. They’re moving into a bigger location and expand the bar’s offerings in the new restaurant location.
The toy drive was started by Marazzito’s father, Dennis Marazzito Sr.
“This is our last year doing a toy drive here, but next year we’ll do it with the fire station that is closer to us on that part of town,” Marazzito said.
Marazzito said they will be hosting their last New Year’s Eve party at the Drifters Cocktail Lounge on Dec. 31. He welcomes patrons and community members to stop by one last time to experience a good time at the bar.