PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) --  Typically, the day before Thanksgiving brings big business, big tabs, and big crowds to bars and taverns.

"I'm expecting a great crowd tonight," says Paul S. Mitchell, owner of Old Town Tavern in Scottsdale. Mitchell says Thanksgiving weekend is like the Super Bowl for bars.

"As a three to four-day weekend, this is the best; yea, I would definitely say the best, and we ramp up for it," said Mitchell. To prepare, Mitchell says they stocked up on beer and booze, nearly $30,000 worth.


It's a busy weekend for bars and cops.

Like many businesses across the Valley, Mitchell says last year's pandemic shutdowns squashed their sales and subdued their crowds. However, this year the Tavern is on pace to surpass 2019 sales.

"The bar should be completely full inside with only standing room only, and this whole patio upstairs and downstairs should be full," said Mitchell.

It's a busy weekend for bars and cops.

Phoenix PD says it will be bulking up on officers on the street, making sure people are driving safe. "This weekend, we will be having the east and west Valley DUI task force."

Sgt. Vincent Cole says to avoid driving impaired, plan ahead. "I always encourage people to have a safe plan to get home before you leave your home," said Sgt. Cole.

Traffic jams expected for drivers at Sky Harbor amid Thanksgiving travel

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