A Cardinals World Series Hurts Some Local Restaurants' Bottom Line

Categories: Restaurant News

cardinals_small_restaurant_struggle.jpg
Jon Gitchoff and Tara Mahadevan
Cardinals fans would rather GO CRAZY than have a quiet, civilized dinner at Stellina.

We're right in the middle of the World Series, and after last night's loss, we aren't feeling too great. Having our home team in the big game is big business for many St. Louis sports bars, but unfortunately the opposite can be true for small, local restaurants who do not have televisions.

The owners of Stellina (3342 Watson Road; 314-256-1600) have felt this negative impact badly enough that they included a good-natured "rant" in their weekly newsletter about the problem.

"From Sydney Street to down the street and everywhere in between, independent restaurants everywhere are struggling," it read. "The truth is, if you aren't located within two blocks of the stadium, or have 400 TV's in your place, you are most likely looking at an empty restaurant."

See also: Welcome to St. Louis, Boston Red Sox Fans: 5 Tips for Getting Around

"It hurts business, but it's also something we have to deal with once in a while. We're a baseball town, I get it," says Jamey Tochtrop, chef at Stellina. "We're not mad -- there isn't a real great solution."

Stellina, like many small, cozy restaurants in town, is the kind of place diners visit to get away from the television, but that's rough when an entire city is glued to the games. Tochtrop says they've tried to adjust by cutting staff hours and not purchasing as much food, but there's not much else he can do.

"People have said to do game-day specials, but that doesn't do much from our perspective," Tochtrop says. "We just have to accept it."

We heard similar concerns over at Local Harvest Cafe & Grocery (3137 Morganford Road; 314-772-8815), though the games have been helping the grocery part because people are picking stuff up to go, says packaged-foods chef Dan Johanning.

"It's just one of those things, especially with St. Louis being such a special place when it comes to Cardinals baseball," says Johanning. "Even people that may not be huge Cards fans like to get into the camaraderie. It's a very community-oriented thing."

As with Stellina, Johanning says any other time of the year, it'd be a hindrance to have televisions in the restaurant.

"Even if we had it on, I'm not sure we'd be people's first choice," he says.

So, St. Louis servers and restaurant managers, have you seen business slow down as people flock to sports bars to watch our beloved Cards? Let us know in the comments.

After the jump, read the full rant from Stellina's newsletter.


Location Info

Stellina

3342 Watson Road, St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

Local Harvest Cafe & Catering

3137 Morganford Road, St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant


Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
34 comments
deckerrossinc
deckerrossinc

Being from Clearwater, with lots of events in Tampa, I can tell you - that as a small business owner - big events in Tampa actually TAKE BUSINESS AWAY from the small business.  Most Clearwater businesses thrive on tourism, and large Tampa events take away heads in beds, that would otherwise spend money locally.

Hmmmm
Hmmmm

RFT even publishing this weak perspective irks me. Uninteresting and far from compelling, the story is pieced together around a business owner's naive frustrations. World Series success is a massive plus for building economic livelihood. This feels like a cheap attempt to subvert positive spirits for the sake of ~~alternative journalism~~. Love yall but in my opinion this is a step in a bad direction

Barbara Mohesky
Barbara Mohesky

Wow! Some of you posters are really harsh. Hopefully you're not the TYPICAL cardinal fan. Just because some people don't look at things like u do, doesn't mean they can't have their say. Lighten Up.

Chrispy
Chrispy

This little "rant" makes me not want to go to Stellina... ever. It comes off as selfish and makes them look like terrible St. Louisans. I get it, they're losing some business, but they sound like a privileged child not getting their way. How can they be so arrogant to assume a right to people's business? If you don't want sports to affect your business, move to a market that doesn't care. I'm sure you'll find that every market has something that will negatively affect your business from time to time. In the meantime, deal with it or be proactive and creatively correct the issue next year instead of whining to the public.

Mr_H
Mr_H

Here's a thought: Rather than try to convince people you really don't hate what the Cardinals' success is doing to your business, why don't you simply keep your goddamned opinion to yourself and deal with the fact that sometimes outside factors are going to affect sales? What good does it do to slap a thin veneer of faint and hardly-sincere praise atop what you clearly admit to being a solid rant? Whining is hardly a winning marketing strategy.

mndtyme
mndtyme

First of all it's not just the World Series home games that adversely affect these businesses, it's all playoff games, both home and away that kill business.  Thus far there has been 16 games, with 1 or 2 more to come, all it the past month.  That's a large percentage of the days in a month.  Beyond that there are more lasting affects of long playoff runs.  People do not have unlimited entertainment dollars, so if they allot money to go to games or sports bars during a long playoff run, they will have very little left over to spend on other forms of entertainment, like going out to dinner, movies, concerts, etc.

Denis Phillips
Denis Phillips

Jerome, it's not baseball, not anything else. The industry as a whole is cyclical. There will be good times, and lean times. This article, more than anything, allows readers to gain or re-gain some top of kind awareness. There are many factors that impact the small mom-pop places. The single biggest challenge aside from competitors is the ability for a consistent supplier for products that will be sold. If this aspect for restaurants doesn't improve you will see only high end mom and pops and 98% chain restaurants. The franchise businesses have a few things figures out! Supply chain resources. I feel that this is more closely in line with the real people that this place is having. I say that only because most business' should in fact be able to weather the storm for a few weeks while the playoffs are going on. So am I off on my assumptions?

Rip DiGiorno
Rip DiGiorno

I'm glad this was written. Baseball only makes money for those who already have too much, and hurts everyone else.

Rip DiGiorno
Rip DiGiorno

These comments are why I'm so turned off to baseball and it's fans in general. Boo hoo, get some tvs, CONFORM OR DIE.

Wallace Sara
Wallace Sara

Wow, just makes me never want to eat at their place ever. If you cant support your own local team move to another city and open a rest;p

Scott Smith
Scott Smith

Please no. Trying to eat dinner with TVs glaring in my face is starting to really piss me off. Can't you people disconnect for an hour?

Rachel Webb
Rachel Webb

I really hope they don't get a tv. It's nice to have a few restaurants that are tv-free.

James Harris
James Harris

Half a nation of whiners being shat upon by half a nation of pricks.

Brian Bradley
Brian Bradley

Stellina couldn't rent, borrow, or buy a TV for the WS. That is obviously MLB's fault.

Tom Halaska
Tom Halaska

It's October. The Cardinals are going to be in the playoffs. Plan accordingly. You know you will be slow in January, back to school always hurts the pocketbook, heat waves, snow, bitter cold. C'mon, you have been in the business long enough. You have to be resilient. You have to forecast. Whining about it in a blog isn't helping anything. Also, keep in mind that a lot of small businesses depend on the Cardinals making it to the playoffs. They're a lot of little guys out there. We all benefit from different events, season change, location, etc. Suck it up, and be prepared to tighten the belt when October rolls around, as it does every year.

Rick Kohn
Rick Kohn

I have a friend that runs a a place on the landing, no tv's and he's buisness was booming over the weekend.

thisgirllikestoparty
thisgirllikestoparty

I have a hard time believing that 3 games downtown St Louis are effecting these restaurants bottom line over all. 

LE Eponine Tetley
LE Eponine Tetley

All sorts of different local events affect businesses, whining and bitching about 5 to 7 games being played hurting your business maybe the problem isn't the games or the nights they're held on. St. Louis is a sports town first, your cash cow is a much farther number down.

Beth Kroll Hughes
Beth Kroll Hughes

Unfortunately even if you have TV's it still hurts business and musicians during game times. Goes with the territory. You won't find a Cardinal fan that would not want them where they are! But definitely is costly to some

Mr_H
Mr_H

@Chrispy Indeed. I don't think it's a stretch to say that there were plenty of people less interested in the baseball game than dining out during a game to fill every table at Stellina and yet they apparently chose to patronize other establishments.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...