Understaffed Denver bars struggle to keep up with demand for Broncos season opener

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — Bars and restaurants across the metro area were packed full Sunday afternoon as Broncos fans cheered on the team for the season opener. 

“It’s nice to get back to normal business after last year and things halted with COVID,” Tom Velin, the manager at Jackson’s Sports Bar in Lodo said. 

Velin said from the moment their doors opened Sunday they were packed. He said at the start of the shift the kitchen was slammed, as more than just Broncos fans came in to cheer on their teams. 

“Last year it wasn’t the same with capacity and social distancing. It’s great to have everyone back,” Velin said. 

He did mention that his staff handled the large crowds well and hustled to make sure service ran smoothly, even though they are still slightly understaffed. 

“We are for sure still understaffed compared to what we would have been pre-COVID numbers,” Velin said. 

Fans at the bars around downtown understood the staffing shortages and remained patient. 

“The fact that bars are open again makes me feel amazing,” Josh McCoy, a Broncos fan said.  

He said there is something different about this year when it comes to football. He said since last year everything was so restricted he believes this year more people are just happy to be together, despite which team they are rooting for. 

“All of us can get together again, make new friends and have fun that’s all I want, and that’s all Denver needs,” McCoy said. 

Bars in Denver are already prepping for next week’s game. They believe spots around town will be just as busy if not busier because of Sunday’s win. 

They encourage anyone looking for a job in the service industry to get out and apply. 

“We definitely need people to start working again,” McCoy said.

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