SHEENA BARNETT: Late night options needed in Tupelo



There are some of us who wish there was something to do in Tupelo past midnight, even on a week night.

Yeah, I said it.

Fetch your fainting couch. I’ll wait.

A friend had some friends in town over the weekend, and it was a little embarrassing that we had to admit a lot of restaurants stop serving at 10 or 11 p.m. and close up shop at midnight.

I’m certainly no businesswoman, so I have no idea if there are enough night owls in Tupelo to make it worth it for restaurants and businesses to stay open for a few hours past midnight.

But my friends and I are such owls, whether we are trying to entertain out-of-town friends or not.

If we go to a late movie or concert, we end up with nothing to do afterward, and certainly nowhere local to eat.

Regularly, we end up eating at a 24-hour breakfast place or strolling a 24-hour big box store, because what else is there to do at 1 a.m. in Tupelo?

There is very little fun to be had with either of those options.

I’d much rather be enjoying something local – food, entertainment, anything – than that.

Stay-at-home entertainment, like movie or board game nights, are fun, but can get a little stale after a while.

As for those out-of-town friends, it was even more embarrassing to admit the city starts slowing down at an insanely early hour, even on a Friday night.

One of these visiting friends performed a concert, but as the clock struck closer and closer to midnight, it became increasingly difficult to find a restaurant that would serve a full menu to a hungry musician and his friends.

A few days later, they drove to Oxford to find a proper brunch.

It’s easy to compare Tupelo and the area to other Southern cities who never seem to sleep.

But I’m not asking for Tupelo to become another New Orleans.

I’m just asking for a few late-night options.

I get that Tupelo is famous for being family-friendly. I’m glad there’s plenty of options for those who need to entertain the kiddos.

But there are some of us single, childless-by-choice adults who resent the fact that everything shuts down after prime time.

Tupelo is doing better in terms of things to do – we have lots of festivals, concerts, film screenings, things like that.

There’s plenty to do, if you don’t mind being back home and in bed by 9 p.m.

There may not be a lot of us night owls out there, but we’re here.

And we’d like to enjoy this city to its fullest potential.

Sheena Barnett writes for the Daily Journal. Contact her at

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  • Joy Hutcheson Boutwell

    It’s very entertaining to watch the odd sometimes flamboyant ” people of Wal-Mart ” that come out after midnight, just a suggestion!! :))))

  • Tupelo_Guy

    Tupelo needs to extended its night hours. No wonder young people aren’t moving to Tupelo!

  • Keep_it_classy

    Imagine the “people of wal-mart” drunk. Tupelo doesn’t want that.

  • Batman

    More people out after midnight? I guess it will give the police something to do.

  • Ells Worth

    A business has to have a customer base large enough to support staying open late night. Wal.mart is a little different because their stores are stocking shelves at night and only had to add a cashier. Tupelo might have the demand for late night business to operate, I have no isea.

  • Jon

    If I had to listen to the noise blaring from Romey’s more than just Friday and Saturday nights, I would burn it down.

  • Jon

    This sort of sense of entitlement for constant entertainment usually just further hurts the lower class. Because those are the people that a going to be forced to work these awful hours. As seen with holiday store hours, Sunday store hours, all this does is destroy the lower class’ quality of life.

    • Tupelo_Guy

      Actually if you’re okay with Tupelo people going to Nashville, Memphis or elsewhere for all-night entertainment that doesn’t end at midnight, we’re losing our quality of life when it comes to nightlife. You got to please the young people if you want them to live and work in Tupelo.

      • Jon

        I’m completely ok with that. Have fun in Memphis. All those nightlife options are making it a dream city to live in.

    • TWBDB

      I can remember Tupelo having many more options in the 70’s and 80’s than now: anyone remember the Chic on Gloster ? We certainly weren’t contributing to the delinquency of the lower class during those times.

      • Jon

        What are you talking about? I never said a thing about delinquency.

        • TWBDB

          Poor choice of words Jon, I should have said ‘detriment of the lower class’: my apologies for the confusion.