How local bars and restaurants are celebrating New Year’s Eve

The end of 2020 has many residents ready to celebrate a New Year, but with COVID-19 restrictions, New Year’s Eve celebrations aren’t the same.

2020 is an end of a year truly worth celebrating yet for Mississippians hoping to countdown to the new year at their favorite bar or restaurant, they can expect an early last call.

Between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. the only order you’ll be able to complete is this executive order issued by Governor Reeves prohibiting alcohol sales between that time.

Bars like the Pelican on Porter Avenue in Ocean Springs are still celebrating, adhering to the governor’s restrictions. The Pelican Manager Stan Holt said, “We’ve had to cut back to 11 and that’s closing time. So, we came up with a campaign “it’s midnight somewhere,’ and we’re sticking with it. We’ll be celebrating tonight from 6 to 11. We’ll by giving away free food and making the best of it.”

2020 has ruffled the Pelican’s feathers a little. The bar was originally set to open up when the pandemic first started in the spring. They had to push back their opening to the summer and apart from getting established as a new bar in the area, operating with the restrictions has not been smooth sailing. “You know, a lot of people don’t get off work until 6 or 7 so that doesn’t give you a large window of time where people can come out and enjoy and we’ve adapted the best we can. We hope to keep on doing it and we’re hoping to continue to improve.”

The District on the Alley in Gulfport is also ready to bid farewell to the year 2020. You could say they’re so eager they’re toasting an hour early. The District on the Alley Owner Rob Reid said, “We’re not going to sell any alcohol after 11 p.m., but we’re still expecting to have a fun night. So, we’re going to have live music from 8 to 11 tonight, champagne toast at 11 p.m., last call and buy your drinks then because we’re not selling past 11.”

They’re also a relatively new restaurant, having been open in Downtown Gulfport for a little over a year. While this year has kept them on their toes, it’s been difficult having to operate amid the pandemic. “It’s thrown all the restaurants off. We’re just trying to follow the mandates and cope and follow this until it’s over.”

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