With the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League finals around the corner, bars and restaurants in Halifax are eager and ready to welcome fans on game day.
“I’ve worked downtown for a handful of years now and always we’ve been scheduling our staff around the Mooseheads,” says Aidon Gray, a supervisor at Tempo Food + Drink.
“They bring in a lot of business from local fans; they’ve got a very loyal and supportive fan base.”
When fans frolic to the Scotiabank Centre for games 3 and 4 next Tuesday and Wednesday, another establishment that’s hoping for a boost in numbers is a new snack bar.
“It’s a big deal going to those games, it’s an exciting thing. They’re going for the big cup,” says Jacob Carey Paradis, the manager of Walter’s Snack Bar, also located on Barrington Street.
“Obviously, we want to make things about getting together with friends and family and what better place to do that than at one of your local pubs?”
The team has attracted more than 8,400 fans, on average, throughout the playoffs so far.
And that support ripples through the city, says Cam Russell, the general manager of the Halifax Mooseheads.
“(Fans are) a big part of this, they’re a big part of our success and like I say, it’s great to see everybody back downtown, in our restaurants and going to the events,” Russell says. “I’m just really looking forward to the finals. I mean, against Quebec, what more could you ask for?”
And Gray says the team’s success can dictate the outcome at local restaurants.
“When the fans are hyped, they’re hyped,” he says. “That means that they drink more, they have more fun, they go out and have a good time. Generally, if the Mooseheads win the night and fans come out afterwards, they’ll also have a couple of drinks to celebrate.”
Game 1 of the finals is Friday in Quebec. It marks just the fifth time in franchise history that Halifax has made it to the final two.
“It’s great, it brings people in, helps support the local economy,” Carey Paradis says. “We love when people are coming out and supporting the small businesses, the ones that are owned by people here locally.”