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Zombie Pub Crawl Eating Into Some Retailers' Sales

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - On Saturday night, downtown Minneapolis resembled a scene from a horror film.

It's the first year the Zombie Pub Crawl is being held in the Warehouse District.

With 25,000 zombies taking over the streets, local bars and restaurants are reaping the benefits.

"Basically that would be like a more than sold-out concert at the Target Center or a decent baseball crowd," said Tim Mahoney, owner of The Loon Cafe. "We're expecting a big, big night."

But for many retailers, road closures mean a major headache.

From 6 a.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday, 1st Avenue from 3rd Street to 6th Street are being blocked off, along with 2nd Avenue East to Hennepin Avenue.

Rosenthall Contemporary Furniture owner Rosie Lebowitz said October is typically the store's busiest month, but fewer than 12 customers came through the door Saturday.

"Coming down and having the roads blocked and having to reroute people to get here is extremely difficult and frustrating," she said.

Toby Brill's surplus store was also in the area blocked off for the event. She says businesses didn't find out about streets being closed until Tuesday.

"I was astonished when I read the email," Brill said. "We should have had advance notice."

Business owners say they should have been included in any discussions on road closures that would affect business access.

"I really don't understand why there are so many gaps that brought us to these uncomfortable situations," Brill said.

Several owners also requested the Zombie Pub Crawl organizers compensate them for lost sales. Those requests are pending.

Another complaint several businesses owners had was the issue of insurance.

They said they weren't included in the event insurance in case of any property damage.

The Minneapolis booking agent for the Zombie Pub Crawl was not available to comment on this story.


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