Pop-up London Owl Bar prompts concerns for birds' welfare

Hundreds of people have signed a petition protesting at the opening of a pop-up Owl Bar in London next month.

Barn owl

Barn owl. Image by Lucie Provencher / CC BY-SA 2.0

However, their protests have been met with stout resistance by the bar’s backers who insist the birds will be looked after humanely. Late night hostelry, Annie the Owl, plans to open its doors on the 19th March for a week with all the profits from the novel idea going towards an owl charity. The bar is being opened to give Londoners the chance to drink cocktails from 8pm until 2am with six owls present, at a secret Soho location.

However there was an online and social media backlash today with over 800 people voicing concerns over the animals’ welfare. The petition to Westminster Council urging them to block the opening was launched by Sarah Stafford. She said owls had very sensitive hearing and the noise of humans and a cocktail bar could cause them considerable stress and unnecessary suffering. The Evening Standard reports backers of the petition claims that birds “are not toys”.

However organiser Seb Lyall, 31, said all possible measures had been taken to safeguard their welfare, including the presence of a professional falconer to look after each bird on the premises. He said it would not be congested as only 50 people would be allowed into the large space. He also pointed out that while there were hundreds of objectors, over 35,000 had applied to attend at the bar with the owls.

Places from this story

Recent stories


16 unique things to do in Hanoi

9 min readPublished about 5 hours ago
JANUARY 21, 2018: People eating at a street café in the old quarter of Hanoi.

10 must-do things on your trip to Milwaukee

5 min readPublished about 19 hours ago
Downtown Milwaukee skyline with the Milwaukee Art Museum on the right.
Destination Practicalities

Do you need a visa to go to Turkey?

2 min readPublished about 20 hours ago
Kaputas Beach Turkey Mediterranean Sea

10 unmissable places to visit in Wales

5 min readPublished about 20 hours ago
Pobbles Bay beach at the Three Cliffs Bay.

Related content