Thanksgiving is right around the corner — which means “Drinksgiving” is even closer.
The night before Thanksgiving, which many young people spend binge-drinking in their hometowns, is one of the most popular drinking “holidays” of the year.
Because of an influx of visitors, many bars see a significant increase in business on that Wednesday so they take extra steps to prepare. “Thanksgiving Eve is our busiest bar night of the year,” said Mark Hemmis, owner of Phoenix Upper Main in Ellicott City. “We’ve been overstocking everything for weeks, from beer and liquor to trash bags to cups.”
Dave Rather, co-owner of Mother’s Grille, said despite Drinksgiving not being an official holiday, customers treat it as such since “everyone is off the next day so it feels like a special Saturday night.”
“The crowd is always in a good mood and they really pack the dance floor,” he said.
In case you’re looking for somewhere to spend your own Thanksgiving Eve, The Banner has got you covered with a list of places to check out.
Mother’s Federal Hill Grille (1113 S. Charles St.)
Mother’s in Fed Hill has been a longstanding staple in the Thanksgiving pregame. The neighborhood is already a hub for younger audiences on weekends and holidays, so I’m expecting it will be even more of one on this night. Mother’s — arguably the most popular bar to go to near downtown on Thanksgiving Eve, if the amount of people I would see from my high school is any indication — will also serve seasonal cocktails and food specials throughout the day.
Tom’s Sports Tavern (9307 Liberty Road)
Fun fact: Tom’s Sports Tavern is a bar that doubles as a liquor store, and it’s one of the few liquor stores in Baltimore County that is open on Sundays. While compact in size, Tom’s brings all the patrons closer in more than a physical sense. You’ll usually see more than a handful of people that you know, so it’ll feel like your Thanksgiving Eve has been spent with family.
The Point in Fells (1738 Thames St.)
The Point in Fells isn’t just a fun restaurant for brunch or somewhere to watch football. With nice bartenders, relatively cheap drinks and music that’s a mixture of hip-hop, R&B and pop, the nightlife aspect is pretty great, too. The Point may be a tad busier on Drinksgiving, but it will definitely be worth it if past visits are any proof.
Golden Dragon Bar & Grill (8109 Liberty Road)
Golden Dragon is a personal favorite bar to visit, even outside of Thanksgiving Eve. The fulfilling food, strong drinks and mixture of old and new hip-hop and R&B ensures customers get a lot of bang for their buck. Their happy hour is from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., so start your celebrations early and try one of their Long Islands.
Phoenix Upper Main (8308 Main St.)
If you don’t like crowds, Phoenix Upper Main is not the place for you to be. Owner Hemmis said they “bring in additional staff and clear out as much as possible to make room for the crowd.” A traditional happy hour will run from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. with $4.50 house-brewed lagers and premium rail drinks along with food specials.
La Palapa Grill & Cantina (8307 Main St.)
La Palapa is located directly across the street from Phoenix Upper Main, so if you lose your group of friends at one of these bars, there’s a pretty good chance they’re just at the other one. The bar is very festive outside of Thanksgiving Eve, so the fun is even more amplified on this day.
Although Thanksgiving Eve is centered on drinking — another nickname for the occasion is “Blackout Wednesday” — we highly suggest you don’t go that far: Have fun, know your limit and don’t drive.