WASHINGTON — Postseason play for the Washington Nationals has provided a big financial boost for restaurants around Nationals Park in Southeast D.C.
“We want them to win tonight because that means a lot of money next week, if they lose tonight we are done for the season,” said Jose Gonzalez, general manager of the Big Stick on M Street.
Normally, when the regular season is over, things get very quiet, unless there is a concert or big event taking place. Before Game 5, almost every restaurant within walking distance of the ballpark was packed with fans in red and the same is expected after the game concludes.
Food is popular, but the real fan favorite is beer. Logan McVaugh with Gordon Biersch said that during a typical night they go through roughly two barrels of their signature beer. During a playoff game, they expect to go through about eight barrels of beer.
At Chix DC on Half Street Southeast, owner Lucas Umana said the postseason has brought in a lot of customers to the location, which opened only three weeks ago. Umana said the games provide his restaurant a chance to introduce his food to baseball fans and have resulted in at least a 15 percent increase in sales on game nights.
Umana, McVaugh and Gonzalez all said they have beefed up their staffing to handle the busy crowds. All agree that a run in the World Series for the Nationals would be a big win for their restaurants, as well.
Gonzalez said he has already received a call from the MLB, which is interested in booking his restaurant for three hours before Game 1 of the World Series, if the championship game takes place in Washington, D.C.
“There has to be a World Series to do something like that,” Gonzalez said.