VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Bars and restaurants across the area were preparing for the big game tonight.
This year, that preparation is looking a little different. With COVID-19 restrictions in place and social distancing in effect, crowds are a no-go for businesses.
The owner at the Tailgate Sports Pub in Virginia Beach says this will be the first year he doesn’t expect to bring in big numbers.
“Full bar — full tables. If it’s nice out, everybody’s out so we are at about half capacity,” said John Dobbs.
In the 5 years the Tailgate sports Pub has been open every year, the Super Bowl brings some of the biggest numbers in revenue.
But he knows this year will be much different.
“The worst part is not being able to have bar seating,” said Dobbs.
Overall they’ve lost 50% revenue and expect that even the big game won’t change that.
“The main thing is that the 10 p.m. sales cut off is ridiculous,” he said.
He believes that is part of the reason people won’t show up.
“I feel like when people know that they will have to be cut off at 10 p.m., they are less likely to even come out at all,” he continued.
They’ve done well with cleaning and social distancing, but Dobbs says it hurts to see his bar not living up to its full potential and he misses the hustle and bustle of game night.
“It’s a little bit less exciting but it’s always more fun it’s everybody being packed in and yelling and you know running around high fiving and obviously that makes it a little bit tougher,” he said.
He said he doesn’t think they’ll make up for the loss anytime soon but he remains hopeful.