CHICAGO, IL- For the city of Chicago and Chicago Cubs fans everywhere, making the playoffs for the first time since 2008 is exciting. Exciting may not be the right choice of word, perhaps it’s more of a sign of something special in the works.
With the young stars like Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber, the Cubs will be in good hands for a long time. Oh, and lets not forget that all four of them are under the age of 27.
So what does this success the Cubs have had this season do for the city? Well let’s just say the economic benefits are quite nice. Local bars and restaurants have fed off the success and are racking in the cash.
“From the latter end of the season towards the start of the playoffs and throughout, we have seen about a 30 percent increase in sales,” said Meghan Welsh, bartender at the BeeHive Tavern & Grille located in St. Charles, IL.
When asked as to whether the numbers in sales are comparable to the numbers when the Blackhawks are in the playoffs, she told me, “Not yet, however, if the Cubs end up making it to the World Series then maybe the numbers will come close to those of Blackhawks playoff games.”
Eventually the Cubs will be like the Blackhawks, consistent when it comes to making the playoffs. When will that time come? The time seems to be now. Look at it this way, Chicago flipped a 73-89 record in 2014 to a 97-65 record in 2015 and finished with the third best overall record in the league. That's a drastic change in direction and with the young talent percolating to the big leagues, this team has arrived and isn't going anywhere.
Not only have bars basked in the success of the Cubs, but local restaurants have also seen a rise in sales.
“We have seen a tremendous increase in sales during the playoffs. Our numbers during weekdays have almost matched numbers we typically see on a Friday or weekend,” said Katie Krahulec, manager at Old Towne Pub and Eatery located in St. Charles.
Karahulec said that they haven’t really had to have any specials or deals to attract more people to watch the games, she simply told me, “Our customers are loyal, when you have loyal customers that return regularly, what’s there to be worried about.”
However, Karahulec mentioned that increased staff and bouncers were needed for the playoffs. “Even though everyone at our place gets along and cheers on their Cubs in a friendly matter, we always have to be prepared just in case something were to happen”
What more is there to say, other than when the Cubs win so do the restaurants and bars. Unfortunately for Cubs fans, the season ended last night, as the New York Mets swept away the World Series hopes for the north siders. No need to worry about the future though, considering you have Rookie of the Year candidate Kris Bryant and National League Cy Young front-runner Jake Arrieta on your team.