Local restaurant and bar tops Travel + Leisure list for best college bars.
Travel + Leisure recently named local restaurant and bar Proud Larry’s as one of America’s Best College Bars of 2013.
Travel + Leisure highlighted the musical talent that has been a staple of Proud Larry’s since its opening, as well as its selection of beers native to the state.
The recent selection came just days shy of the 20th anniversary of the opening of Proud Larry’s.
Current owner Scott Caradine, along with two partners, opened Proud Larry’s on April 15, 1993. In order to celebrate 20 years of good food and even better music, names like the North Mississippi Allstars and George Porter Jr. set the stage for a month-long rock show of live music.
“Obviously it’s a big honor to be thought of this way and be mentioned by a national publication,” Caradine said.
“A lot of it is indicative of Oxford being a great college town.”
While Caradine admits that he believes several other bars on the Square could have just as easily been awarded the nomination instead, he thinks Proud Larry’s does not just do a good job of attracting college students, it does so uniquely.
According to Caradine, the famous “2 for Tuesdays” special was initially targeted toward college students. He also said that through pairing good music with good pizza, pasta, hamburgers and salads, Proud Larry’s has been able to maintain its “fun, good-time, funky” atmosphere.
“Larry’s has been one of my favorite bars since freshman year,” junior art major Taylor Mauer said.
Mauer joined the staff at Proud Larry’s this past March.
“It’s crazy to think that now I work at one of America’s best college bars,” Mauer said.
Looking back at the past 20 years, Caradine said he never would have thought his business would have grown like it has, gaining its own sense of reputation and recognition.
“We’ve grown as Oxford and Ole Miss have grown,” he said.
Caradine said he believes that the recent recognition will attract more attention from those traveling or visiting Oxford, but for the most part, things will stay the same.
“We’re still trying to do the same thing we were trying to do when we opened, and that’s to create a fun experience for the customer, whether it be a student or a local Oxonian,” Caradine said.