ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — On Friday night, bars and restaurants in Orchard Park were gearing up for Wild Card Weekend. Bills kickoff is less than 48 hours away and businesses are expecting big crowds all weekend long.

“It’s good for the whole area of Orchard Park. The Bills are the best neighbors we could have. We’ve waited 23 years for this here. We’ve been here 23 years now,” Mark Ebeling, owner of Danny’s South, said.

Bars and restaurants on Abbott Road say the Bills bring a boost to business, especially during the playoffs. With two games disrupted by major snowstorms, restaurant owners say this game will make up revenue.

“It adds a whole gameday to us. This season we lost a home game because of the storm in November. It’s nice to have a game to make up for that lost revenue,” Peggy Cerrone, owner of O’Neill’s Stadium Inn, said.

“Right now people are just calling our phone off the wall trying to get into the parking lot to watch the game. Like I said it’s a whole different ball game. It’s night and day,” Ebeling added.

Last year, COVID restrictions limited how many fans could watch the games inside. Melissa Miller, kitchen manager at Prohibition 2020, says she expects her bar to be bustling with customers all weekend long.

“The last playoff game we had was during COVID so we were very limited seating but we had a packed house for what we were allowed to do. But this year, Sunday, it’s exciting, nervous you never know what’s going to come your way,” Miller said.

These bars and restaurants are already preparing for the divisional round and are confident the Bills will be playing back at One Bills Drive next weekend.

“I had to order for two weeks, so it’s just triple, quadruple what I order for a regular weekend so it’s a lot of guessing,” Cerrone said.

Miller says she thinks the energy around the stadium will be electric and nothing like she’s seen before.

“We’re going to do it for number three. We’ve been, the whole community has been with Damar, so I have a feeling we are definite going to pull through and we are going to squish the fish,” Miller concluded.

All three bars expect a lot of fans to be visiting the area from out of town, which will bring another added boost.

They say when the Bills win, businesses win.

Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a reporter in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.