"Drinksgiving" brings thousands to Downtown Toledo

"Drinksgiving" brings thousands to Downtown Toledo

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Some may be excited to sit down with family and share a big meal on Thanksgiving, but before that, friends are meeting up at local bars.

Thousands are expected to pack into Downtown Toledo bars to celebrate the biggest bar night of the year. Local bars said they planned ahead to accommodate the large crowds.

Some call the day before Thanksgiving "Drinksgiving," because so many people go out to local bars in their town before enjoying the holiday with family.

For some it's a chance to come home, meet old friends, catch up and celebrate together.

"It just brings back memories of the times gone by when we we're in Toledo," said Richie Sullivan, visiting from Louisville. "So, it brings back those warm nice memories of Toledo."

Several bars in Downtown Toledo are prepping for thousands to come through their doors Wednesday. Downtown Johnny's is celebrating their first ever "Drinksgiving."

"We're just taking a deep breath and hoping everything goes okay," said Angela Benavides, a bartender at Downtown Johnny's.

They decorated the bar, ordered special drinks and even a DJ for the biggest bar night. While they want customers to have fun, they also want them to be safe. Their servers have taken serving courses to avoid over-serving customers.

"All our customers are great. We love them and don't want something bad happening," said Benavides. "Whether they get mad or not we're just not going to serve them that extra drink."

The Blarney has been around for more than a decade and is a favorite spot for several. Their owner prepares big for Thanksgiving Eve by bringing in eight additional staff members for the huge crowd on a Wednesday.

"We're excited that it's you know an extra day for us," said Ed Beczynski, owner of The Blarney. "So we're prepared, but with the liquor order, food order everything else we had to amp it up."

This is the first Thanksgiving Eve that DORA has been an option for downtown bar hoppers. Bar owners said it's been a huge success, so much so  that they even want to extend the hours in the future.

"DORA has been a great hit downtown," said Beczynski. "People are just excited, especially when the weather was a little warmer the amount of cups that are going out of all of our establishments are huge."

The Blarney gives out about 100-200 cups on a busy night. Owner Ed Beczynski also said he thinks people will take advantage of DORA to enjoy the Hensville lights as the weather gets colder this holiday season.

Owners, bartenders and patrons all agree if you drink , you should not get behind the wheel.  They said there are so many options available whether lyft, uber, black and white cab company and more to ensure you're able to get home safe to enjoy Thanksgiving to the fullest ... no pun intended.

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