Philadelphia bars and restaurants saw a large increase in business during the World Series- but only if the establishment included a TV from which the patron could watch the game. Heimer's article covered several area eateries and taverns, and how thier individual businesses were effected by the Series.
|From the October 22, 1980
edition of The Philadelphia Daily News:
Cheers: It’s a High-Spirited Time for Bars
By Scott Heimer
The Phillies’ success had made more winners and losers here than the Vet scoreboard would indicate.
The team’s uphill climb over the last month has made bars and State Stores the big hits with Philadelphians, but restaurants and movie theaters have been benched by many on nights that the Phils take the field.
“Naturally, you know, with Philadelphians and all these other people in town spending a million a day, hotels and restaurants are buying more and more whiskey and we’re the only one they can buy it from,” said Bill Burke, area superintendent of the State Liquor Control Board.
Burke and the Phillies’ success has greatly boosted the booze business, but he wouldn’t know how much for a couple of weeks.
“Most of the hotel and restaurants carry reserves. So we wouldn’t know until they start replenishing their stock, and most of them stocked up heavily three or four weeks ago.
Burke says the State Store- especially those near the big hotels- have done very well during the Phillies’ come-from-behind drive for the division and National League pennant titles and through the World Series.
“The Philadelphia Phillies have brought exposure to Franklin Plaza like nothing we could have done before in terms of acceptance in the Philadelphia area,” said hotel spokesman Andrew Todd.
Todd said that the hotel, which formally opened its 800 rooms and eight restaurants yesterday, had held 450 rooms exclusively for World Series people- the Kansas City Royals, the baseball commissioner’s office and staff and the hordes of press- at the request of the Phillies.
Meanwhile, over at the Fairmont, business was “super-fabulous,” according to spokesperson Judith Morse.
“To tell you the truth, we were 100 percent occupied before the Series, but the Phillies’ winning has increased the traffic in our restaurants and bars- our food and beverage business. We had been booked full with a couple of very large meetings and couldn’t accommodate all those people calling for rooms,” she said. The Fairmont has 565 rooms.
Restaurants, meanwhile, were faring well in the daytime and early evening, but suffering later on in the night.
“Unfortunately, it’s dead afterward. Business is off. Day business- luncheons- and early dinners have been very good, but the late dinner and late bar business during the Series has not been good,” said a spokesman for Frankie Bradley’s at Juniper and Chancellor streets.
The restaurant has a TV set, but people are apparently opting for either their home tubes or the giant screens at some South Philly spots.
Bogarts in the Latham Hotel never had a TV, but the management has rented one for the Series- as has Not Quite Crickett, a cocktail lounge across the lobby in the same hotel at 17th and Walnut streets.
“Mario Mira plays and sings here,” said a spokesman. “And even though he’s a baseball fan, he’s upset that he can’t play until after the game’s over- which is usually around midnight.”
Over at J.R.’s café, 20th and Market streets, though, the Series has brought an outstanding bar business, thanks to its TV, said a spokesman.
And what of the biggest screens of them all- the movies?
“Basically, on nights the Phillies have played, business has taken a slight drop. On nights they haven’t played, it’s jumped to fantastic proportions. We’re having a fantastic October,” said Phil Edgerely, spokesman for the more than 100 Sameric theaters in the Delaware Valley.
He added: “Yeah, there’s been a slight drop on Phillies’ nights, but we’re just concerned about them winning. Victory would be great for this city.”