For those of us familiar with the age-old practice of day drinking, the lights going out in the middle of the afternoon is really nothing new. But on Monday, we can’t blame the overzealous bartender at Fat Tuesday for the forced darkness at 2:20 p.m.
A total eclipse of the sun will be the culprit, and for two minutes and 40 seconds, it will feel like it’s midnight — soon after “Days of Our Lives” airs. The last time this happened was in 1979, when ABBA was cool but bourbon was not.
Millions of Americans — and thousands of Kentuckians — are preparing for an epic experience as the moon shimmies its way between us and the sun, causing the temporary non-drug-induced blackout.
Apparently you’ll only be able to see the solar corona, which does not come with a lime, as long as you have those fancy glasses.
I’m curious to find out what happens if you look at the eclipse directly, but I also want to be able to see the Cubs win another World Series and the Bengals blow their chance, yet again, at making it to the Super Bowl. I hear that if you’re dumb enough to look at the sun, you either turn into one of those bloated water zombies from “Walking Dead” or a Kardashian — and neither sound fun.
Now, many of you are traveling to Hopkinsville for the festivities, because it’s supposed to be the best place to find total darkness. As my brother explained it to me, it’s like being pregnant or not — so I guess we’re not pregnant here in Louisville? That’s a good thing, because I propose we all gather at local watering holes — if your job and age allow it — and toast to the earth, the moon and the sun.
After all, for a little more than two minutes, it’ll be nighttime, and I don’t want my liver to be confused. (Thank god I don’t live in Alaska, where it’s dark a lot and, Sarah Palin.)
There are a handful of bars and restaurants inviting us leftovers — those who choose not to trek to southwestern Kentucky to watch the spectacle — to eat, drink and be merry in darkness. If your boss is a curmudgeon and won’t let you take off, then just use your lunch break from 2-3 p.m., or tell him you have the runs and need to run.
Here’s a few of the highlights …
Copper & Kings Distillery, noon-4 p.m.
This Butchertown distillery was one of the first to tout a Solar Eclipse Party, but as of presstime, they’ve reached maximum capacity of RSVPs for their third-floor sky deck. The courtyard, however, will be open, and there will be a cash bar.
8UP, 1-3 p.m.
Who has one of the best rooftop bars in the city? 8UP, of course, and they’re hosting a party with 1077 The Eagle and Maker’s Mark on Monday. The first 107 people there get a free commemorative shot glass and a pair of eclipse glasses. The bar will be open, and I assume there will be deals on Maker’s Mark.
Fourth Street Live, noon-3 p.m.
If you work downtown and feel like gathering on the street with your fellow suits, then head over to Fourth Street as they host a party with viewing glasses, food and drink vendors, corn hole and other such games.
Big Bar, 1-4 p.m.
This little Highlands spot is opening up early and offering up viewing glasses and Liquid Brunch deals — like $3 mimosas, $4 Mount Gay Eclipse Rum and $3 shots of Fireball. DJ Sleepy T will provide appropriate tunes — fingers crossed for Bonnie Tyler — as the darkness sweeps in.
Goodwood Brewing, 4-9 p.m.
Well, if you just can’t get out of work, you can still celebrate after — or just keep the buzz going. Goodwood is hosting a Blackout Beer Bash starting at 4 p.m., with five special black beers on tap — Block Hole Sun, Big Fella, Goodwood Porter, Coconut Porter and Java Porter. Stop in for a pint, or take a growler to-go.
Those are the big parties so far, and I’ll update this list if I hear of any others. I suspect as hype and anticipation grows, other bars will decide to open their doors early as well, although good luck finding eclipse viewing glasses now.
If my Facebook feed is evidence, there are a lot of you out there scrambling for eyewear. Don’t panic. We’ve got two minutes and 40 seconds — I’m sure people will share.
For more Bar Belle musings, head over to barbelleblog.com.