BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — After a challenging year, the Blue Jays coming back to Buffalo is expected to be a homerun for bars and restaurants surrounding the ball park.
For many of these businesses, it’s been a year of early hours and empty seats. But on Tuesday, these businesses saw a boom in business ahead of the home opener.
“To be able to be part of this experience and have a major league baseball team here, it’s an unprecedented occurrence for us,” said Washington Square bar manager Brendan Swords.
The bar – located right on Washington Street – came under new ownership less than six months ago, which means this was the first time management is dealing with a crowd of customers this size.
“This week along we have today, tomorrow. Thursday [we have] off from games. But then Friday, Saturday, Sunday all home games,” Swords said. “I don’t know of any kind of precedent I have set to be able to order beer, food, anything like that, so today is kind of our tryout.”
Union Pub is located directly across from Sahlen Field. General Manager Jay Medynski said the last time he had this many customers was before COVID-19.
“Just having the energy of people coming in without masks – those that are vaccinated – seeing their faces, seeing their smiles, talking directly to people, it’s adding a whole other layer onto this that we haven’t seen before. It’s great,” he said.
And with the Blue Jays calling the Queen City home fore now, both Medynski and Swords said they expect business to keep booming.
Marlee Tuskes is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.