Proud Larry’s opened on the Oxford Square in 1993 and was quickly established as the place for local musicians to showcase their talent. Over the past two decades, Proud Larry’s has become a hub of activity not only for musicians but also for comedians, poets and storytellers.
“There are great bands to be heard in Oxford because it’s a very music-centered town,” said Bruce Butler, Proud Larry’s general manager. “Oxford has great food, a great history of writing and great music. That’s why Proud Larry’s works so well, because we’re a good mixture of a lot of different things.”
Every week, Proud Larry’s hosts multiple musicians and bands. The walls are covered in concert posters from the past and present and their front door keeps a running list of upcoming shows.
“Music is such an integral part of what we do here,” Butler said. “We have bands that come here every time they’re on tour or releasing a new album, and we also open our doors to local musicians.”
Proud Larry’s is a place anyone can is welcome to showcase their talent, whether music, poetry or another style of writing. Proud Larry’s hosts The University of Mississippi’s Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) program each month for their Broken English event, where first and third-year students can read their work to the audience.
“It’s a quirky place,” Butler said. “We have a little bit for everyone. We have the MFA students here once a month for Broken English, and we hold a comedy night once a week, which can be funny even if the person is good or bad.”
Though music and art are important to the restaurant, food and family are the ingredients that complete the unique recipe that is Proud Larry’s. Owners Scott and Lisa Caradine have worked hard to create a sense of family among the staff and to treat customers like long-lost friends.
“This is the first place I have worked that I truly feel like the staff is a family,” Butler said. “When people come in here to eat, it’s like we’re taking them into our home, and we want them to have a good experience. Everyone wants and needs something different, and we want to give that to them.”
Over the past 24 years, Proud Larry’s has become an iconic part of Oxford. Its spirit of family and devotion to music and art have impacted the community in more ways than can be counted.
For more information on the menu and upcoming shows, visit Proud Larry’s website.
Amy Goodin is a writer for HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at argoodin12