Isaac a good excuse to party at local bars

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, August 29, 2012

NATCHEZ — If you’ve got a place where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came, and you want to be where you can see that our troubles are all the same, why would a hurricane stop you from going there?

While many other Miss-Lou businesses are shuttering their doors and hunkering down as Hurricane Isaac barrels its way upstate, the Miss-Lou’s bars are staying open.

Jennifer Harp, manager at The Corner Bar, said if it was at all possible to remain open during the storm, The Corner Bar would be offering warm lights and cool drinks to those seeking shelter.

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“Tonight’s a hurricane party,” she said. “We sent out a mass text to all of our regulars tonight that we were having one, because the regulars all said they wanted one.”

Other than a little wind and rain, though, the hurricane party won’t really be any different than any other night, Harp said.

“They just like a reason to drink,” she said.

During Hurricane Gustav, The Corner Bar opened but Harp closed it down at 6:30 p.m. because she felt it was too dangerous to keep open at that time.

The day after the storm, while the power was still out, customers came to the bar, brought candles and drank beer that was still cold because the coolers had not been opened, she said.

At Bowie’s Tavern, manager on duty Nancy Best said the bar is usually open until 11 p.m. on Tuesdays, and that would probably be when it closed. The strongest part of Hurricane Isaac was expected to arrive in the Miss-Lou at approximately midnight.

“We have trivia tonight, and we will stay open as long as we can,” Best said.

In anticipation of the storm, Bowie’s had their suppliers come earlier in the week than usual, ensuring the delivery of dry goods, bottled water and other supplies.

The bar also has a generator in case electricity is lost, Best said.

Best said Bowie’s had a busier than usual Monday night, and Harp said The Corner Bar has already played host to evacuees from southern Louisiana. During Hurricane Gustav, much of the business came from out-of-towners, Harp said.

But when it comes down to it, a bar is about meeting people over drinks.

And that’s why a hurricane didn’t deter plans for the Under-the-Hill to be open, bartender Beth Hite said.

“We just like to be open, serve people,” Hite said. “Everybody needs to have a cold drink every once in a while.”