TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Bars in Tuscaloosa are gearing up for Iron Bowl weekend but they aren’t sure what to expect given the pandemic and students out of class.
We spoke with the owner of R and R Cigars who says it’s more important than ever to support local.
The Iron Bowl is a reason for one of the biggest parties all year, but this year is set to be much quieter.
Tuscaloosa’s businesses and bars have suffered in a unique way during the pandemic, and this weekend isn’t expected to be a huge boon.
“We lost the LSU game and people are like oh you’re getting the LSU game back, but not really, because the biggest revenue driver on these weekends are the students, and the students are gone,” Reagan Starner, owner of R&R Cigars.
UA ended the fall semester with Thanksgiving break... leaving the strip far less busy for the next two weekends.
“We’ll still do good the rest of football season don’t get me wrong, but it won’t be the same without those what, 40,000 kids basically between 30 bars,” he said.
Starner has worked during the Iron Bowl for years, and he’s not expecting huge crowds.
“If you look at hotels... you can get a bunch of hotels for $200. When have you ever seen hotels in Tuscaloosa for the Iron Bowl at $200?”
Starner opened up a second shop on Black Friday off McFarland Boulevard and Watermelon Road in addition to their well-known Maxwell House.