Restaurants and the entertainment district prepare for the opening of the Bills in LA
Even though staff shortages have impacted the hospitality industry, restaurants are bracing for a busy Bills opening in the City of Angels.
BUFFALO, NY — With Bills fans just waiting a week to see Josh Allen and the rest of the roster on the field, Buffalo’s restaurants and entertainment district are bracing for big crowds.
Several clubs and restaurants on Chippewa Street in downtown Buffalo are gearing up for a block party that could draw thousands of fans.
“To kind of take the gloves off and just open the doors, and let everyone hang out and have fun, that’s obviously a huge opportunity,” said Chris Ring, Rec Room partner and one of the event’s organizers. neighborhood party. on Chippewa. “All companies are looking forward to the additional business we will get out of this.”
This year, the neighborhood party is getting extra support.
“We’ve partnered with the Bills,” Ring said. “So we’re bringing in Billy the Buffalo for a halftime appearance, we’re giving away a pair of tickets for the Bills’ home opener.”
The prime-time Bills-Rams game, which will air on WGRZ, is also expected to draw crowds to neighborhood bars and restaurants. For some, this will be the first unrestricted season of Bills’ business.
“There are no restrictions. We can wrap this place in three layers to cheer on our Buffalo Bills,” said Michael O’Conner, co-owner of Mike and Pop’s at Kenmore.
Mike and Pop’s opened in 2021, at the height of the COVID pandemic, and the neighborhood tavern has yet to experience unrestricted Bills games.
Being a pandemic company, they had a lot to do at the bistro: supply chain issues, restrictions, inflation. The father-son duo aren’t immune to the food industry’s latest problem, staff shortages.
“It’s been tough,” Mike “Pop” O’Conner said. “We just lost about five cooks two months ago.”
Some of those employees came back because Mike and Pop offered better compensation.
“It’s a very, very difficult thing,” Pop said.
For now, Mike and Pop’s have staff ready and eager for the September 8 kickoff.
“It’s a neighborhood place,” Michael said. “So people, if people come through, and they see we’re blocking the bills, they’ll definitely come in.”
As for the block party on Chippewa, general admission tickets are $10, VIPs are $20. There will be two large LED screens showing the pre-game and the game and the doors will open at 5 p.m.
You can find out more and buy tickets here.