Niagara Gazette — The lockout of NHL hockey players may be coming to an end. And with it, business at area bars and restaurants could soon return to normal.
One of the hardest hit industries throughout the region, and wherever else NHL hockey is a major entertainment provider, local watering holes have been struggling to maintain their income for more than 113 days has passed since the work stoppage left fans out in the cold.
“It’s been huge,” Ken Scibetta, co-owner of Lewiston Village Pub, said. “It really killed us during the week, on weekdays. But people are really excited now and so are we. And not just from a business perspective. This is Buffalo, this is Western New York. It’s a hockey town, on both sides of the border.”
Scibetta said as soon as he heard the news about the lockout ending early Sunday, he took to the bar’s Twitter feed and sent out a message. It read, “We’ve got Blue & Gold fever! #GoSabres.”
Throughout the lockout, the bar did have its fair share of hockey on its televisions, though. Thanks to the Madison Square Garden network airing repeats of past games, ranging from the 1970s throwbacks – like the “fog” game and the team’s defeat of the Soviet Union olympic team – to the most recent playoff runs and dramatic goals current fans are more familiar with.
Bars and restaurants aren’t the only ones hit hard by the NHL lockout, though. Other, lesser thought of businesses have also experienced quite the hit.
Dave and Adam’s Card World, located at 1595 Military Road in the Town of Niagara, has seen its shelves more full than usual these last few weeks as hockey has been off the minds of many
“The lockout definitely impacted our sales of apparel, for sure,” Justin Woodruff, a manager at the store, said. “People would come into the store before games and buy (items).”