Businesses see record numbers for football game

Some business are planning to add more staff, activities and music in the future.

Tara Bannow

Weeks before SaturdayâÄôs football game in the new stadium, the staff of Blarney Pub and Grill was preparing for the heavy crowds. When the day finally came, everyone was on the schedule, shelves were stocked with extra inventory and a grill was set up on the patio. âÄúNobody knew what to expect,âÄù Blarney general manager Adam âÄúRookieâÄù Lanoue said. âÄúYou hope for the best and prepare for the worst.âÄù For Blarney and other Dinkytown and Stadium Village businesses, the day was preceded with lots of preparation and ended with fatter wallets âÄîlocal businesses scored up to seven times the sales of an average Saturday. Several businesses, such as Big 10 and the Library Bar and Grill , said theyâÄôll have more people on staff for future games. Others, like Stub and HerbâÄôs and Campus Pizza , will work to improve the sound quality of the music in their expanded serving areas. Outdoor patios seemed to be the biggest crowd-pleasers. Even while abiding by the fire marshalâÄôs guidelines for the amount of people they could let in, Stub and HerbâÄôs had about 5,000 people walk through their doors and in their âÄúbeer gardenâÄù out back, owner Josh Zavadjil said. For future events, theyâÄôll add more tailgating games outside. Stub and HerbâÄôs had twice as many employees working in addition to 30 volunteers âÄî family and friends of the staff âÄî who helped sell beer and food outside. In the end, they came out with five times the amount of sales of a usual Saturday. At the Library in Dinkytown, about 1,500 showed up to enjoy the outdoor festivities, raking in five times the barâÄôs average sales, assistant general manager Joe Berg said. When PaninoâÄôs at the U tried to follow suit and set up a tailgating area outside their storefront, they got in trouble with the property management. By the next game, they hope to have the matter sorted out and keep tables outside. PaninoâÄôs, which has a satellite stand inside TCF Bank Stadium , scheduled double the staff and reported doubled revenue, manager Eliot Hawkinson said. Many business owners were surprised by the amount of people who stayed for the game. Big 10 was completely full with people lined up outside the door up until halftime, general manager Ray Graves said. In the end, sales tripled. âÄúAs far as we know, it was the most sales dollars in the history of the restaurant,âÄù he said. Blarney was packed during the football game, as well, something thatâÄôs never happened before, Lanoue said. Despite having 35 televisions, Berg said he didnâÄôt expect having so many people stay at the Library during the game. âÄúThere were a lot of people who didnâÄôt have tickets,âÄù he said, âÄúso that definitely helped us with having the TVs.âÄù For late games, Campus Pizza is applying for a license to join the ranks of neighboring bars and stay open until 2 a.m., owner Jim Rosvold said. Having just added the bar back in January, he said theyâÄôre still building up traffic, but eventually hopes to make it a weekly event. âÄúWhen the business warrants, weâÄôll start to stay open late,âÄù he said. Overall, it was fun to see people of all ages and backgrounds excited about the game, Lanoue said. âÄúWe had everybody from grandparents to college students all getting along and hanging out together,âÄù he said. âÄúIâÄôll take that any day.âÄù