Local bars fare winter lull, welcome students back

By Bryan Warrick Reporter and By Bryan Warrick Reporter

Most nights you’ll see students heading down for a drink or a bite to eat, but over winter break, the businesses downtown had to adjust to the decrease in business as students left town for home.

“We had a noticeable impact on sales,” Andy Gibson, manager at One 49 North, said. “Weekends were still pretty solid, while weekdays tapered off a bit, but that’s to be expected.”

Gibson said the bar and grill still brought in a respectable amount of business due to the niche crowd that continues to come there year round, and the business practices of other establishments in town.

“It helped that certain bars weren’t open over break,” Gibson said. “Some of our competitors decided to close down to save on costs. We were open every day except Sundays and we operated with a ‘business as normal’ feel. Our New Year’s Eve was just as good as our Homecoming weekend. We were at capacity, if not more.”

Some of the other places that remained open also had to find ways to bring in people. At City Tap, a place that prides itself on trying new things, it was decided to get into the Christmas spirit for the local customers and college students that remained, said Travis Kinder, a bartender at City Tap.

“Over the holiday season our drink specials were usually holiday themed,” Kinder said. “That also included our beer of the day special. We tried to change it up.”

City Tap did rather well over the quiet month, bringing in locals, remaining students and visitors to the city. But The Attic, a club on the floor above City Tap, did not fare as well, Kinder said.

“The floor upstairs suffered a bit,” Kinder said. “But you kind of expect that with most kids in BG gone.”

Even though One 49 North had successful business over break, it still had to adjust to the lack of students. The bar and grill is most known among students for hosting its weekly Jazz Night for musicians from the school and town. But that changed over the winter vacation.

“The one thing we changed was that we didn’t offer the live jazz shows,” Gibson said. “We did it the week after finals week then waited until classes started back up to bring that back. But we still have our niche crowds who know our specials and come to get them regardless of what we are showing.”

The Cla-Zel, on the other hand, continued to do well with help from outside the city. The old building can be rented for weddings or other events, and the place hosts 92.5 FM KISS radio every Friday night. According to their website, the Cla-Zel’s Friday dance night brings in people from throughout the Toledo area.

Regardless of what the different bars and pubs of downtown did over winter break to make a profit, they all agree on one thing now, Gibson said. They are happy to have students back at the University to come to their bars.