Source: Ann Arbor
People aren’t dressing up in costume or toasting the good ol' Saint Patrick, but Thanksgiving Eve has its own reputation among bar owners.
For years, the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving has been coined the “biggest bar night of the year.”
While sales increases on football Saturdays and other holidays win out over Thanksgiving Eve for many Ann Arbor area bars, the Wednesday night before the holiday still means big business.
“Compared to our normal Wednesday nights, we will have triple the business,” said Christian Jurado, bar manager at downtown Ann Arbor’s Blue Tractor BBQ & Brewery.
“It’s going to be a very, very busy Wednesday night,” he continued.
New Year’s Eve, Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day have garnered reputations as big bar nights, but Thanksgiving Eve seems to be just as popular. And for good reason: most people have Thanksgiving Day off work, and many people have family visiting or college kids home from school.
“People just seem to be celebrating because they don’t have to work the next day,” said Tony Bonino, general manager of Sports Bar at Banfield’s Westside. Thanksgiving Eve is also prime time for friend or family reunions, added Conor O’Neill’s general manager Caroline Kaganov.
“We get all age groups (on Thanksgiving Eve). It’s like three generations of family, so it’s a really nice group of people we get,” she said.
Kaganov said the crowd in the downtown Ann Arbor bar is mostly townies and people who are from Ann Arbor but have since moved away.
“It’s a nice community kind of night,” she said. “Although a lot of the students go home elsewhere, it’s a very nice atmosphere because we get a lot of people who are coming home to Ann Arbor.”
At Damon’s Grill on Boardwalk Avenue, Thanksgiving Eve is a day to attract customers by giving back to them. Manager Rick Morawa said the restaurant is running a buy-one-get-one-free deal on its food all day.
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