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Super Bowl Fans Provide Much-Needed Boost For Restaurants Hurt By Pandemic

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Sunday was a big night for football and local restaurants and bars.

There are actually four bars in one at Kincade's, and for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic started, the fourth bar is back up and running, which is a turning page for the Bengals bar staple.

"We've got all the rooms open now, and they all have people in it. It's great," said General Manager Jay Nordmeyer.

The space at Kincade's was storage until Sunday morning.

"The plumbing, the bathrooms, the floor and everything we painted," Nordmeyer said. "It looks great back there, and we finally got it up and running."

The last time the Bengals were in the Super Bowl was 1989.

"Yeah, everybody wants the Bengals to win here. We're all on the same page," said one fan.

And the space had not been used since 2020.

"We've been having the Bengals here for 10 to 15 years in the company, and we haven't had a playoff victory ever, so to get to the Super Bowl it's really, really special," said Nordmeyer.

The Bengals Bar made game day happen with just one third of its pre-pandemic staffing.

"There's not a lot of people applying for jobs right now," said Nordmeyer.

Still, it was worth the strain to make up for a COVID-restricted game last year.

"A day like Super Bowl Sunday, Saint Patty's Day, New Year's Eve, start up some of your top five busiest days of the year," said Sam Toia, president and CEO of the Illinois Restaurant Association.

For Kincade's this is a touchdown, predicting a 100% profit increase for the day.

"A lot of people aren't going out still and so to have an event like this or, you know, you're going to have people in here spending money having a great time. It's huge for our bar," Nordmeyer said.

It was a huge day in Chicago and across the country and so needed for businesses.

The National Restaurant Association reports restaurant industry sales across the country were down $65 billion from pre-pandemic in 2019.

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