Continuing a long-running tradition, Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar offers a spot for regulars and newcomers to commune on Christmas Day.

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The sandwich board sign goes up, as always, when the doors open at 7 a.m. On today’s list: Cab Calloway, Jimmy Buffet, and baby Jesus.

It’s Christmas Day at Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar, the South Philly shot-and-a-beer destination that, last month, celebrated its own 85th anniversary. And, like every Christmas throughout those eight-and-a-half decades — excluding 2020, for obvious reasons — the bar is open for a full day of business.

Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar on Christmas morning. (Ali Mohsen/Billy Penn)

“We’re there for the people that need us to be there,” said Kristie Pagliaro Noel, who’s been tending bar at Ray’s for 18 years, and is on the morning shift. Today, she said, is no different.

  • December 25, 2023
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