Here’s hoping my favorite bars don’t quit social media

Ms. Mae's is a 24/7 dive bar at 4336 Magazine St. in Uptown New Orleans. JOHN E. BIALAS/FACEBOOK
Ms. Mae's is a 24/7 dive bar at 4336 Magazine St. in Uptown New Orleans. JOHN E. BIALAS/FACEBOOK

By BILLY JOE JESSUP

I don’t hang out in bars, but I have my favorites down here in the Deep South and I hope they will never do what a popular United Kingdom pub chain did: Close its social media accounts.

J D Wetherspoon on Monday announced it was shutting down its Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Tim Martin, Wetherspoon’s chairman and founder, addressed the decision.

It’s becoming increasingly obvious that people spend too much time on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and struggle to control the compulsion. We will still be as vocal as ever through our Wetherspoon News magazine, as well as keeping the press updated at all times. We will also be maintaining our website and the Wetherspoon app and encourage customers to get in touch with us via our website or by speaking with the manager at their local pub.

The Saturn Bar is a Bywater dive at 3067 St. Claude Ave. in New Orleans. JOHN E. BIALAS
The Saturn Bar is a Bywater dive at 3067 St. Claude Ave. in New Orleans. JOHN E. BIALAS

I’ve been living vicariously through the social media of my favorite bars since my last drink many years ago.

I’m a dive guy. I think of the games, the music, the laughter, the bathroom graffiti, the characters, the carousing, the dancing and the drinking.

When I do go to a bar, my order is, “One Coke, please.”

I’ve done that a couple of times in New Orleans: At Ms. Mae’s on Magazine Street four years ago and at the Saturn Bar on St. Claude Avenue last summer when it hosted writer Anne Gisleson’s book signing.

You can shop for cool T-shirts at the Saturn Bar Facebook page and check out the upcoming events, such as the May 25 music show that will feature three bands. The bill includes Treadles, who play “sad songs about being drunk since 2010.”

 

Brothers Three in New Orleans is open 24 hours at 4520 Magazine St. JOHN E. BIALAS
Brothers Three in New Orleans is open 24 hours at 4520 Magazine St. JOHN E. BIALAS

Just up Magazine from Ms. Mae’s is Brothers Three, which was the name of our neighborhood bar in Gulfport, Miss., before it became Your Place.

I’ve never been inside the Railroad Street building, although I drive and walk past it daily, but I am a follower of the Your Place Facebook page  and saw that the bar offered free Jello Shots every time a touchdown was scored during the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl victory against the New England Patriots in February.

“Doesn’t matter who wins in this game because you’ll all be drunk winners at the end of it,” Your Place posted before kickoff.

Your Place is at 1214 E Railroad St. in Gulfport, Miss. JOHN E. BIALAS
Your Place is at 1214 E Railroad St. in Gulfport, Miss. JOHN E. BIALAS

I learned about the 24-Hour Challenge at the Ms. Mae’s Facebook page. The rules: 24 hours in the bar. One drink per hour. No puking. No passing out.

If you survive, you win a T-shirt from the place that is always open.

JOHN E. BIALAS
JOHN E. BIALAS

Ms. Mae’s was the favorite watering hole of Rob Ryan when he was the Saints defensive coordinator.

He was the bar’s patron Saint and Saintly patron, buying drinks for fans after New Orleans victories. Hell, a picture of Ryan, left, was on display perhaps 10 feet above the floor inside the bar until he lost his Saints job.

If he ever comes back to Ms. Mae’s, I’ll drink to that. One Coke, please.

 

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Written by Billy Joe Jessup

Billy Joe Jessup, 66, is a Mississippi good old boy who saw himself as the Southern Richard Meltzer back in 1974 and 1975. Jessup wrote two satiric sports articles for the rock music magazine Zoo World when he was in his early 20s, but ZW rejected his third article, killing his confidence so much that he battled writer's block for more than four decades until his Guy Hut breakthrough in March 2018.