JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - You might think Hal and Mal's in downtown Jackson originally opened because brothers Hal and Malcolm White wanted to create a live music venue, and a place where you could get some good Southern cooking.
Well, that's part of it. But Hal White will also give you another reason.
"The vision was... I don't know, I think we just opened it because we were both unemployed and needed a job!" laughed White.
Twenty five years later, Hal and Mal's has become a Jackson institution, and the center of one of the capitol city's biggest events: Mal's St. Paddy's Day Parade.
"That in itself is pretty amazing, that parade," said White. "I think people kind of sit there in awe of it. It's a great and wild celebration, and I think the people Jackson and in the metro area have embraced it."
Over the years, the walls of Hal and Mal's have filled up with eclectic memorabilia.
And it's hosted big names, like B.B. King.
"What has evolved here is what we wanted it to do. I don't know that we planned it to be here 25 years doing this, but what has happened with charity events and people showing up and celebrities that have come and been here, it's basically what we wanted to do, but I don't think we really realized it would be this big for this long," said White.
But it has. And that calls for a celebration. Hundreds are expected to come out for a birthday bash Saturday night, complete with 25 bands.
"It's going to be like a big family reunion, we're hoping. A lot of the old bands coming back, a lot of the old participants like myself will show back up and maybe relive some of their hey day," said White.
And after 25 years, some say this restaurant is still in its hey day.
The 25th birthday celebration begins at 5 PM Saturday, February 27th and runs through 2 am.
It costs $5 at the door.
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