Restaurants in B’ham getting more business from March Madness

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 10:41 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - March Madness brings more than just madness on the court - it brings a big economic impact to the city, and more revenue for local businesses. Thursday’s games brought money and excitement to restaurants locally and owners say they hope it continues into Saturday night.

“It’s very exciting,” said Zebbie Carney, owner and CEO of Eugene’s Hot Chicken.

“People are coming from all over the place you know, they’ve never been in Birmingham before. They’re asking the questions like, ‘Where can I go for this shopping or you know if I want to get a drink outside of downtown so it’s really good to you know, the whole city as a whole just embraces it,” said Randall Peterson, Manager at Mugshots in Uptown.

They said the boost is helpful as they are still recovering from the pandemic.

“We definitely need it...coming off the you know, pandemic just to see the world open is nice,” said Carney.

And fans from all over are trying to get a taste of Birmingham while they’re here.

“Just walking around, getting to know Birmingham...I think we’ve experienced it all. We were downtown [and] we came over here,” said Nancy Olsen, who traveled to Birmingham from South Dakota for this week’s games. Locals are still definitely making rounds at their favorite places too.

“Between the first and second session, like we had to, we tried to come to Uptown here, but it was just, I mean, it was mobbed. There were just people all over, we had to walk to the Top Golf, it was busy. So there’s people saying the hotel people in Homewood all around so, yeah, the economic impact, I bet, is huge,” said Bobby Brunner, who lives in Birmingham.

The staff at both restaurants said they are ready for what the rest of this weekend can bring.

“There’s only two games to start [on Saturday], not four, so we probably won’t be as busy but hopefully we got other events going on as well,” Carney said.

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