Downtown bars, restaurants expecting primetime Browns game to bring in big crowds

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CLEVELAND (WJW) – The countdown to Thursday night football is on for bars and restaurants along West 6th Street in downtown Cleveland.

“We are very excited. Every Browns game is exciting because we get such an influx of business, especially after COVID,” said Patrick McNamara with Johnny’s Little Bar.

Johnny’s Little Bar is preparing for big crowds when the Browns take on the Broncos Thursday night.

“Any primetime game, we are so grateful for them. We are so grateful for the Browns being a good team, filling the stadium and us getting the business in return,” said McNamara.

Dive Bar is one of the closest bars to FirstEnergy Stadium.

“It’s always exciting when you get a primetime game. The NFL execs are in town, the whole country is watching you. All eyes on you so it is a big deal,” said Justin Costanzo with Dive Bar.

The Thursday night game comes at a time when local bars and restaurants are trying to bounce back from the pandemic. While area bars and restaurants are expecting big crowds Thursday night, many are dealing with staffing shortages that hit the service industry especially hard.

“It’s definitely been a challenge. We are lucky during games like this because we have areas to pull from. We have other locations,” said Costanzo.

No matter the score, both bars say the primetime game will no doubt boost business and breathe life back into downtown.

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