Roanoke bars prepare for Thanksgiving Eve

Manager and bartender Ariel Meadows (right) and her staff prepare for one of the busiest bar...
Manager and bartender Ariel Meadows (right) and her staff prepare for one of the busiest bar nights of the year.(WDBJ)
Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 6:33 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Area DJs will be spinning on a Wednesday night as the dance floors fill with pre-Thanksgiving celebrations.

Ariel Meadows, manager and bartender with Corned Beef & Co., says Wednesday night is a release for college kids coming home and folks cutting loose before spending time in the kitchen and relaxing with family Thursday.

They are also hosting a high school reunion, just in time for many to be home for the holidays.

“We staff as we would a busy weekend night, so we’re all hands on deck, ready to go,” says Meadows. “We like to call it Friendsgiving, it is arguably our second or third busiest night of the year.”

There’s also no cover Wednesday night at Corned Beef or Sidewinders, a rare occurrence that welcomes everyone in for the festivities.

“It’s a big deal for us, it’s kind of community appreciation,” says Forest Hardy, general manager at Sidewinders. “We want to make sure that we top, that when people come in, they don’t have to pay a cover and can see what we have to offer to our community.”

Hardy also mentions the bar’s relationship with the Roanoke Police Department, and officers in the bar have been a huge asset for safety on busy nights.

“RPD has been a big instrument for our success here at Sidewinders because they do keep people safe, they make sure there’s no trouble, no issues,” says Hardy.

Additionally, Virginia State Police are encouraging everyone to have a plan before going out, booking rideshares, or a designated driver. There will be increased enforcement throughout the rest of the week.

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