The Georgia-Notre Dame game on Sept. 21 brought a flood of customers to downtown businesses, resulting in some restaurants more than doubling their daily total sales in one night. The Red & Black followed up with the downtown businesses that had previously expressed high hopes for the weekend.
Jerzees Sports Bar, Moonshine Bar and On the Rocks manager Jarrod Miller said the weekend was “wild,” but he witnessed more people on the streets of Athens than inside bars or clubs.
“The hype was a little more than what it was,” Miller said.
Although his businesses were packed with visitors, the weekend didn’t prove to be “record breaking” in terms of guests or sales. For the occasion, Miller ordered 35 cases of White Claw, 25 of Michelob ULTRA and 75 of Bud Light, all popular drinks.
Miller is grateful for the experience and applauded Notre Dame fans for their positive attitude and friendliness.
“All in all, it was a good experience to be apart of and a great time to be in Athens,” Miller said.
Clocked! diner on Washington Street on experienced an “all-time high” in their total sales during the gameday. The diner’s sales total for the full day totaled to $7,350 in food and drinks compared to their average sales total of $3,000 per day, manager Miller May said.
May said even with extra staff, the diner experienced high volumes of customers and a busy kitchen.
South Kitchen + Bar and both the downtown and Falls of Oconee locations of Mama’s Boy also enjoyed the influx of customers and “rooted for the Bulldogs” inside their restaurant.
“We are happy to host so many Georgia and Notre Dame fans,” Mama’s Boy manager Sophie Elegreet said. “We had really high sales throughout the day and were tempted to stay open longer.”
Meanwhile, South Kitchen general manager Hillary Durr said staff kept track of the games score through customers and engaged in playful banter with Notre Dame fans.
The increase in sales came with fatigue for the business’ employees — Durr said all staff worked longer hours than usual in order to meet the restaurant’s demand.
Despite the chaos, each business and restaurant manager The Red & Black spoke to agreed the Georgia-Notre Dame game was great for business, the city and fans.
“I think it was a night to remember for everyone. I’ve never seen so many smiles in one night,” Elegreet said.