Fat Tuesday is quickly approaching, and the Mardi Gras weekend has already been a big hit in Pensacola, especially for downtown businesses.
Restaurant owners on Palafox Street certainly have caught more than a few strands of beads! Owners are saying not only did their establishments do well, but the people who work there also had a great weekend, especially after a few recent duds.
“We were feeling the pinch from last year,” said Warren Sonnen, from O’Riley’s. “This kind of helped alleviate some of that pain.”
After a rainy New Year’s Eve, and a few wet Gallery Nights, O’Rileys was ready for something to put a little pep in their step.
“We feel like everything in the last six months, everything that was major kinda got shut down for the weather,” said Sonnen. “So, this was probably the first big day for us where we didn’t have a weather interruption. So it paid out.”
While the good times were rolling through downtown, the cash was rolling into local restaurants.
“It’s just a really good start for the year,” Sonnen said. “So we’re not, I guess, moaning about how we didn’t do so well last year, so I guess… Raised spirits if you will.”
Down Palafox towards Garden at Hopjacks, owner Joe Abston is happy his employees got to share in some of the rewards.
“It allowed us to bring a lot of people in,” Abston said. “It allowed us to have a lot of servers to walk home with a lot of tips, and a lot of cooks were able to clock a lot of hours. It was a great financial move for all the people involved.”
As Abston pointed out, a good time one weekend can lead to a year of celebration.
“Anytime we have a great experience, anytime we can bring in people from outside our area, show them a great time, lots of things going on, it brings Pensacola up,” Abston said. “It makes things better. It allows us to show off our city.”
If you missed Mardi Gras festivities in Pensacola, you can still catch the party in Mobile on Tuesday. If you don’t wanna drive over, just join us on WKRG for coverage all day long.