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From Bars To Sports Apparel Shops, Businesses Near Guaranteed Rate Field Hope For Boost From White Sox Being In Playoffs

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The playoff-bound White Sox arrived in Houston on Wednesday, ready to take on the Astros.

But back on their home turf in the Bridgeport community, businesses are hoping the postseason hits a home run for their bottom lines.

CBS 2'S Steven Graves talked to some business owners on 33rd Street Wednesday.

Right in the shadow of Guaranteed Rate field, two bars – Turtle's Bar & Grill, 238 W. 33rd St., and Cork & Kerry at the Park, 3259 S. Princeton Ave. – are seeing one shared excitement.

"For our beloved White Sox that we stood by them during everything - good or bad," said Turtle's Manager Carrie Stegmiller.

"When the postseason schedule came out, phone started ringing," said Cork & Kerry owner Bill Guide.

And there were a lot of questions for people hoping to get in to watch the games.

"I'm getting call after call already – do you take reservations? Do you have any specials going on?" Stegmiller said.

No reservations are taken at Turtle's. But the true special is just being able to hold a playoff party that looks close to normal.

"So it's just a mix of emotions," Stegmiller said.

Last year's brief playoff appearance by the White Sox threw a curveball - bringing enthusiasm, but fewer fans.

"We're going to follow whatever rules we're supposed to follow - which they can be inside, and they have to have masks if they're not eating or drinking," Stegmiller said.

But if anything good came out of these changing times, it's the presence of more tables on the sidewalk and street to bring in more business - at a time when it is much needed.

At Cork & Kerry, Guide has been preparing for more people for away games. But stocking up for owners in the bar industry has been harder since COVID hit.

"Everything from certain whiskeys to certain beers – Anheuser Busch has a glass shortage, and there's been aluminum shortages on the other side - so it is a struggle," Guide said.

Meanwhile, sports apparel is ready to sell at Grandstand, 600 W. 35th St.

"Our excitement is probably as high as it could be," said owner Josh Ganal.

But there is also anxiety for what's ahead.

"Probably through the roof, simply because we have to carry all of this stuff, right? And making sure we have enough supply," he said.

"Everyone is all stacked up and ready in all black," said owner Stephanie Ganal.

The pandemic brought worries over if Grandstand would survive. They had to create a website and adjust - positioning themselves for postseason profits.

"We're not there yet, but this is definitely helping us survive," said Stephanie Ganal.

"It's something that we've been looking forward to and been hoping for – and the season's been everything we've wanted," added Guide. "We just want a little more."

The Sox play in Houston on Thursday afternoon and Friday. Game three shifts to Guaranteed Rate Field Sunday night.

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