Many downtown businesses depend on Mardi Gras to survive the rest of the year

February 12, 2021
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Many downtown businesses depend on Mardi Gras to survive the rest of the year

Many downtown businesses depend on Mardi Gras to survive the rest of the year

“I have bartended at Haley’s for almost nine years, but I started bartending in college. It was a way to make the most money with the easiest schedule. I grew up in Texas and went to a two-year college on a baseball scholarship. After that ended I didn’t have anything else going on. My sister lived in Fairhope so I moved here. I worked in Gulf Shores and Fairhope until I came to Mobile. This is a small town in a bigger city.

I work the graveyard shift on Friday through Sunday from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. It is swim or drown. If you work more than four days behind a bar, you burn out quickly. I don’t know how my body adjusts, but this is normal for me. Haley’s is the late-night bar that gets the crowd after all of the other bars close and people aren’t ready to go home. COVID has hit us hard on the big weekends like Senior Bowl and Mardi Gras when we usually do extremely well. Our crowd is different now. Our regulars are a little older and those are the ones staying home and safe, which is the right thing to do. All walks of life come here. They are good people.

Many downtown businesses depend on Mardi Gras to survive through the rest of the year. Everyone here is tightening their belt and trying to hang on. I would give anything to get back to normal with business back and all of the old guys back here.

Balancing the hours at the bar and being there for my family is the hardest part of bartending. I have a 16-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son. My girlfriend is also a full-time kid. I get my son to school and sleep all day Monday. Then get back into the normal routine with my family until Friday.

My father passed away from cancer the day after I turned 25. It was hard to watch what cancer did to his body. My dad and I were close and cared a lot about each other, but we fought all of the time. I think that has made me a better father. My daughter is smart and already taking college courses. I am so proud of her. We just signed my son up for t-ball. I am excited about teaching him how to play baseball.”

Buck

“We are having a ball at Haley’s on Lundi Gras night with formal or cocktail attire. The first shot is free. We have also partnered with Penelope House and we are raffling baskets of cheer through Mardi Gras. We are finding smaller ways to celebrate.”
Delane

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