HOUSTON — The Astros' home opener is Friday. But, this year, there are no fans allowed inside Minute Maid Park, and that’s having huge impacts on the restaurants and bars around it.
Friday would normally mean a packed house for HTX Fan Tavern. Sitting right across the street from Minute Maid Park, it’s a prime spot for a party.
“I think we’re probably one of the two closest bars, so, we have the DJ’s going on. We have a ton of fans that stop by pre-game and join us post-game," HTX Fan Tavern Social Media & Marketing Manager Christina Nguyen said.
But this year, they’re completely closed.
“If they continue this no fans, it really is nothing. Zero fans equals zero business for us," Nguyen said.
Down the road, Rodeo Goat is still open, but the season will also look very different.
“It normally helps out our business a lot. We see huge crowds come in, before and after and during the games too," Rodeo Goat General Manager Kelsey Kostelnik said.
Rodeo Goat hoping to make up some of that lost income from fans watching on their patio.
“We would love it if they came and watched the game with us. And if they don’t feel comfortable, please consider us for to-go, curbside, all delivery apps, so you can watch it comfortably from your home," Kostelnik said.
And this year, even the block parties are on pause. For Lucky’s Pub Downtown, this season is already a loss.
“It’s depressing on a certain level not being able to have that so I hope it comes back strong," Lucky’s Pub Owner Anthony Wegmann said.
Wegmann says Lucky’s Pub is not only shut down, they’re having to relocate. But they’re not moving far. They’ll always have the park nearby.
“It’s just the energy of sports. Having the sports bar down there, around all of those stadiums, really makes it a cool place and a cool time," Wegmann said.
A cool time they hope comes back very soon.
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