Reporting Sandra McNeill
DETROIT (WWJ) – Local businesses are bracing for a possible hockey lockout — with the deadline looming Saturday night.
Tommy Burrell owns Tommy’s Detroit Bar and Grill which is right near the Joe Louis Arena and is worried about the looming lockout.
” …the last time we faced this was in 2004, the economy was in a different state,” said Burrell.
Burrell owned a bar in Greek Town in 2004 and “it was definitely tough but I think at that time … downtown Detroit was a different place to be,” he said. “Businesses were still thriving – to a point and there were a lot more people hanging out in the city.”
He said it’s been a slow summer and the Wings’ fans usually account for about 40 percent of his business.
Vaughn Derderian owns the Anchor Bar and he agrees that hockey fans bring in a lot of his business.
“It’s a disaster, last lockout … I know of two bars that went out of business, and two businesses that had to sell – (because) they couldn’t afford to keep it,” said Derderian.
“Most of the winter people (we hire on) because of hockey, and they only work on hockey nights,” Derderian said. “So we’ll beef up … triple the staff or more on a hockey night because we might have 300 or more people in here.”
“There’s not much room for error,” said Derderian.