DENVER (KDVR) — Restaurants and bars are still recovering from the pandemic but the Colorado Avalanche Stanley Cup win is providing new hope because of a much-needed revenue boost.
Floyd James of Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar told FOX31 that the combination of Stanley Cup visitors and relaxed COVID-19 restrictions is keeping restaurants in Lower Downtown busy this summer.
“We could use the extra bodies down here after COVID and things slowing down, so we’ve got a whole lot of people from out of town and a lot of local love,” James said.
The Colorado Restaurant Association said higher gas prices have negatively impacted about 68% of small businesses’ recovery efforts, dealing with an average of $180,000 in debt because of pandemic hardships.
Food and labor costs are up an average of 20% since March of 2020 and wholesale food prices are up nearly 18%, the largest 12-month increase in nearly five decades.
Some restaurants closed early after Sunday’s game for safety reasons.
In preparation for the Avalanche victory parade on Thursday, Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar, which sits on 17th Street along the parade route, will open early and offer menu specials to the large crowds.
“People are actually enjoying themselves and enjoying each other. It’s a good thing to see,” James said.
The Colorado Restaurant Association tells said eight out of 10 restaurants in the state are still understaffed, but working to accommodate the demand from customers to enjoy dining out this summer.