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10 Busiest Nights of the Year for Bars Slideshow

10 Busiest Nights of the Year for Bars Slideshow

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Bartenders gave us the inside scoop on the craziest nights of the year

SolStock/ iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

10. Halloween

ID 123624779 © Iulia Cozlenco |

Halloween isn’t just for kids anymore, with adults blowing exorbitant amounts of cash on both alcohol and costumes. Bars nationwide use Halloween as an excuse to throw a big party and generate extra sales. Soon enough, the night could become synonymous with booze, not candy.

9. Christmas

ID 62380457 © Julia Sudnitskaya |

Bartenders from Seattle to Boston claim that Christmas is one of the busiest days. This may be because people who don’t celebrate the holiday are looking for an activity when most other businesses are closed. Even those that do celebrate may be looking for something to do after the festivities (or refuge from the relatives).

8. Celebrity Appearances

Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images for BMF

Not every bar is willing to go the extra mile to pay a celebrity to drink at their establishment, but those that do claim that celebrity sightings increase bar revenues. One investigation by the New York Times reported that a Snooki appearance at a Los Vegas bar increased revenues by hundreds of thousands of dollars.

7. Kentucky Derby

ID 140903308 © Perry Correll |

If a Mint Julep is in your repertoire, chances are your bar will bank in on the first Saturday in May, the day of the Kentucky Derby. Interestingly, one of the biggest Derby celebrations can be found outside of Louisville. The Round Robin Bar in Washington, D.C. brings out patrons dressed in summer suits and hats, and keeps the juleps flowing.

6. Marathon Day

ID 80117350 © Zhukovsky |

Whether it’s Marathon Sunday in New York or Marathon Monday in Boston, these nationally recognized running events translate to big business for bars, bringing in runners and revelers from out of town. Says former Boston bartender Amy Schweikert, “Marathon Monday was ridiculous from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m.!”

5. St. Patrick's Day

Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Business Insider reports via IBISWorld that one percent of total annual beer consumption occurs on St. Patrick’s Day. Not surprisingly, the bars that rake in much of this revenue are Irish pubs, temples for the one night of the year when everyone reconnects with their Irish heritage.

4. Cinco de Mayo

ID 33776652 © Razyph |

Cinco de Mayo is not Mexicos independence day, but that doesnt stop tequila lovers from making the holiday one of the biggest bar nights of the year. Though as Conroy points out, a bars specialty can make or break its success on this popular drinking night. Cinco de Mayo would be a big night for a tequila bar, but not so much for a bourbon bar.

3. Any Major Sports Championship or Home Game

ID 159420807 © Robert Kneschke |

Kyle McCollum worked for two years at The Swamp, a sports bar and restaurant in Gainesville, Fla., the home of the University of Florida. He explains, If you are talking about a college town, then home football games are probably the biggest days [for bars]. Any NFL playoff games, NCAA basketball tournament games, and college bowl games would be busy also.

2. New Year's Eve


Wayne Gordon attests to the success of a bartender on New Years Eve. Working in the bartending industry for over a decade, I've come home with anything from
500-1200 dollars. Deciding which bar I'm going to work each year has literally made it become the bartenders' lottery.

1. Thanksgiving Eve

SolStock/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Seems like people aren’t spending Thanksgiving Eve just basting turkeys — they’re at the bar. Also called Black Wednesday, it’s widely known as the busiest bar night of the year, due to the influx of out-of-towners and the start of a four-day weekend. So does that make turkey the unrevealed hangover cure?


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