Sunday, December 28, 2014

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Buffalo

Businesses See Boost from Return of Hockey

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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- “We are just happy to see all our customers again,” said Cobblestone Bar and Grill co-owner Marisa Proietta-Milbrand. “They are loyal customers. They are back. And we are so happy; we just wanted to hug all of them."

Business is booming again near the First Niagara Center and after the Sabres win Sunday, places like Cobblestone Bar and Grill and Lagerhaus 95 were packed.

"I’m looking at a good day,” said Cobblestone Bar and Grill co-owner Darryl Carr.

“We probably had 400 to 500 people in and out today," said Lagerhaus 95 general manager Jeff Lang.

It comes after a break due to the lockout that put businesses in a bind.

“This year we’re probably down about 60 to 70 percent almost from a normal season,” said Carr. "We stayed open, we had different parties and booked some events and basically covered our expenses for the first half of the season."

"We planned ahead and did a lot of catering and parties and deferred losing that business to doing some different things,” said Lang.

Sunday’s crowd was a little less than a typical hockey night, but still good for Lagerhaus, which is usually closed that day.

Both businesses will plan ahead though to possibly get back money lost.

“We're going to try to maximize the days that do come in though, staff them right, maybe have our hours a little longer to service more people,” said Lang. “Try to do it that way, try to squeeze every dollar out."

"If they make the playoffs, we can recoup some of that loss we had in the first part of the season," said Carr.

Both establishments say if the crowds Sunday are any indication, their financial outlook looks prosperous.

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