Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Horny’s Bar and Grill brings a taste of New Orleans to The Strip


Nestled in a corner of The Strip on Red Drew Avenue is the newest addition to Tuscaloosa nightlife. Horny’s Bar and Grill, formerly Bama Dogs, opened its doors a few weeks ago and welcomed the community into what co-owner Shay Dawkins calls “a little piece of New Orleans.”

While the name Horny’s faced quick critique from the community, Dawkins said he believes the name epitomizes the spirit of the bar.

“The name’s not meant to be offensive. It’s funny,” said Dawkins, a recent Alabama graduate. “New Orleans, horns, jazz – that’s where Horny’s came from.”

Pushing the envelope with the name was only the start for Dawkins and co-owner Jonathan Harris. The two were previously the owners of Bama Dogs but decided to open Horny’s to bring something new to Tuscaloosa.

“We’re different,” Dawkins said. “We wanted to bring something to The Strip that wasn’t here yet.”

With drink specials every night, Dawkins hopes to see Horny’s bring The Strip back to its former glory.

“I’ve heard stories about The Strip being as wild as New Orleans,” Dawkins said. “And at night, I want it to become New Orleans in here. Let’s get some girls dancing on the bar, playing music, buying drinks.”

Emphasizing the Bourbon Street culture, Mardi Gras beads and masks line the wall and purple and green lights glow by the bar. The menu follows along the same lines, offering drink specials reminiscent of Bourbon Street and food with a Cajun twist.

“You can come here and get a shot that you can’t get anywhere other than the beach or Bourbon Street,” Dawkins said. “And the best part is, by the end of the night, you’ll still have money in your wallet and just a few more good memories.”

Horny’s restaurant menu is inspired by the culture and cuisine of New Orleans.

Ranging from happy hour deals like 50-cent jumbo wings and free hot dogs to menu items like Cajun pasta, gumbo and po-boys, Horny’s offers a menu appealing to a variety of taste buds.

“Horny’s offers the best of both worlds,” Dawkins said. “We have our New Orleans food during the day and our liquor at night.”

Aaron Zucker, a senior and co-owner of The Red Shed bar across the street from Horny’s, expressed excitement about their new neighbor.

“Their presence has been felt for us in a positive way,” Zucker said. “We are happy to have Horny’s so close to us, bringing in more traffic to Red Drew Avenue.”

The location of both The Red Shed and Horny’s is one of the most appealing parts about the two bars, Zucker said.

“Our location is one of our greatest assets considering we are within walking distance for most of our customers,” he said.

And as Dawkins put it, “Why risk getting a DUI when you can just come to Horny’s?”

It’s this amicable nature of the owners that is reflected throughout the bar. With a spirit for parties and a goal of becoming the “liquor bar” of Tuscaloosa, Horny’s hopes to continually bring in crowds, both during the day and night.

“You’ll have fun here, I can promise that,” Dawkins said, with a motto echoing his promise: “Come sober, leave happy.”

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