“There always seems to be something happening every week that could be cause for celebration,” says New York City bartender Brad Conroy.
But while bar-goers can always seem to find an excuse to drink, there are, of course, certain nights of the year when even teetotalers get off the wagon. These are the busiest nights of the year for bars: the nights when people come out in herds, everyone lets loose, and the bar brings in a profit that eclipses any loud-mouthed drunk.
After researching various reports about the busiest nights of the year for bars, we asked bartenders across the country what the biggest nights are at the bars where they work. Most echoed the response of Justin from The 5 Point Café in Seattle: “New Year's Eve, Christmas, Thanksgiving, any major holiday.” So perhaps not as many people as we thought are spending holidays at home — they’re hitting the bars. Major sports events were also noted as being a common incentive for folks to flood their local watering hole. Anything from the Super Bowl to a local team’s home game seems to bring drinkers out in hordes.
But as New York City bartender Wayne Gordon points out, the busiest bar nights are not necessarily the best nights for hanging out. “[The best night to hang] is hands-down Sunday in the dead of winter. It weeds out the people who feel that everything needs to be perfect in order to hang out,” explains Gordon. “Here you’ll find the best mix of people, from the city’s finest artist, out of towners who don’t have the patience to let an off-day stop them from enjoying New York, to the ‘F**k it, I shoot from the hip’ 9-to-5ers. Who would say no to hanging out with that group of bastards? In fact, the irony is that I’m writing this while hung-over from a great Sunday hang.”
Still, successful bar night is a win-win for both bartender and patron. “It’s like one big party and the bartender is the host,” Conroy recalls.