Canadiens’ success giving big boost to downtown bar and restaurant owners
MONTREAL – The stockroom at the Irish Embassy Pub & Grill has never been as full as it is this week.
The kegs are piling up, and a new batch are already being rolled into position for the next big game Thursday night. Keg orders at this downtown Montreal bar are up about 25 per cent.
General manager Joe Cannon says the Habs success on the ice has helped launch his “summer season” a lot sooner than usual.
“Normally the Grand Prix is the kick off to summer. I think this playoff run has been a bigger kick off,” says Cannon.
Sales of chicken dinners are also flying. At the Cote-St-Luc BBQ restaurant, the month of May has been a record-breaker.
It seems Habs fans are so glued to their television sets they have no time to cook for themselves.
“When the Canadiens are in the playoffs, we see a big difference, between 15 to 18 per cent,” says Cote St-Luc BBQ co-owner Johnny Castellano.
On playoff game nights, Castellano says he brings in extra delivery drivers to deal with all of the orders.
“It shows when the Canadiens are in the playoffs,” Castellano adds. “People are in a much better mood. They invite drivers in for a beer.”
Michel Leblanc, the head of Montreal’s Board of Trade, says the team’s Stanley Cup run has given the city some good free publicity on the world stage.
“We’re being seen all across America, in the United States,” Leblanc says. “The fact we’re playing against the New York Rangers, New York, it’s a good thing.”
The Board of Trade estimates for every home playoff game, the Montreal Canadiens franchise earns a net profit of about $2 million.
It’s not what Castellano or Cannon earn per game night, but if the Habs keep their winning ways, it will mean increased profits for their businesses for at least another few weeks.
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