Downtown Edmonton bars, restaurants hope Oilers in playoffs boosts sales

A view inside Craft Beer Market in downtown Edmonton.
A view inside Craft Beer Market in downtown Edmonton. Julia Wong/Global News

It’s not just fans who are thrilled the Oilers made the playoffs; restaurants and pubs in downtown Edmonton are also rooting for the team, saying they’re good for business.

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Shaun Caron, the assistant general manager of Craft Beer Market, said the Oilers have boosted sales during the course of the season and it’s only expected to get better as the playoffs get underway.

READ MORE: Edmonton Oilers make playoffs for 1st time since 2006: What’s changed in the last 11 years?

“A pre-hockey game rush, we’ll probably do around $5,000 to $6,000 in sales. Post-game rush, $2,000 or $3,000. It’s a jump about 20 to 30 per cent in sales,” Caron said.

The pub is already gearing up for the playoffs.

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“As soon as they set that April 12 date, we’re already planning our schedules, making sure we have enough staff for it. It’s going to be a new experience for this building at least,” he said.

“We’re expecting it to increase our sales a lot, especially home or away games. We’re definitely excited to just have hopefully a couple months of this. If we have a couple months, it’s definitely going to be something that is helpful for this industry.”

READ MORE: Edmonton Oilers in the playoffs after a decade-long drought and Whyte Avenue will be ready

Caron said the Oilers are giving a much-needed boost to the restaurant scene downtown and added making the playoffs accounts to “an early Christmas present” for the business.

Cole Sheen, the shift leader at JOEY Bell Tower, said the restaurant has been getting a good push for Oilers’ games this season, adding it has doubled the number of people walking through the door.

But Sheen said the hockey team is more than just good for business.

“It’s a great opportunity for downtown, a great opportunity for all the businesses downtown. We’re hoping that we get some really good pushes during our game nights and that the Oilers go really far into the playoffs,” he said.

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“It would be really great for the city as well.”

Chris Sills, the co-owner of Rostizado, said the restaurant right across from the arena has learned to deal with hockey crowds ever since Rogers Place opened.

“Between 5 to 7 p.m., we’re definitely doing I’d say double what we were doing before. Our bartenders have just become wizards back there. They’re able to bust out cocktails for a whole room full of people in just 15 minutes, which is just remarkable,” he said.

Sills said being part of the playoffs will only continue to boost sales.

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“I’d love to see them make it all the way until the end of the playoffs but even so, just broaching this and getting into a playoff position is going to be great for us.”

Tickets for Oilers home games go on sale starting April 10. The playoffs start April 12.