Niagara Gazette

January 19, 2013

Local bars hope end of NHL lockout will bring back customers

By Jeff Gillette
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — The end of the NHL lockout couldn't come at a better time for the folks at Honey’s.

With the NFL playoffs wrapping up today, kitchen manager Tyrone Washington says the return of hockey will bring a boost to the business.

The Buffalo Sabres return to the ice today to host the Philadelphia Flyers — and local bar and restaurant owners are hoping Sabres fans return with the team.

Washington said the lockout didn't really impact business on Honey's, a sports bar on Niagara Falls Boulevard in Niagara Falls.

"(The lockout) hasn't hurt us at all," he said.

But Washington knows hockey's return will be a good thing for the Niagara Falls Boulevard sports bar. "During hockey games this place is jam packed," he said. "The customers are excited for it."

Tom Proctor of the Falls is one of those excited customers.

"This is a great place to go for a Sabres game," he said. "I watch a lot of games here and they have so many TVs that you can see the game from anywhere,"

When it came to the actual business of the lockout, most fans said it hasn't soured them towards the NHL or the Sabres.

One fan at Honey's, Kyle Laughlin of Niagara Falls, said he is definitely back as a fan, and even found a positive in the lockout.

"I like the idea of the short season," he said. "I feel baseball and hockey seasons are too long."

Many fans felt the shortened 48-game season made it hard to predict how the Sabres would fair. But at least one fan thinks the Sabres are heading in the right direction.

"They're building a team around Miller," Proctor said. "and that is a formula for the Stanley Cup."