SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Win or lose, Giants playoff baseball has given a lifeline to the struggling sports bars and pubs.
Nearly all the tables were taken up at The Kezar Pub in San Francisco Saturday night. A manager said the packed house delivered a win that they'd been missing since the start of the pandemic.
"The customers are coming to watch the game, helping us to build the business a little bit more," said Kezar Pub manager Santos Chi. Chi said he didn't see large crowds filling up his pub before playoff baseball.
The pandemic hit the service sector extremely hard, especially bars and clubs. Covid-19 forced people to social distance. The vaccines and Giants baseball gave people reasons to come together and even high-five strangers, something that was unthinkable just a year ago.
"When the Giants win, obviously, everybody is happy. The people stay longer at the bar, celebrating, cheering with friends," said Chi. "They spend more money, help us more with the business."
But he said they'll need a lot more days like Saturday to get back in the game. Chi said Kezar Pub's business is at about 35% of what it used to be.
"Very busy now just because of the playoffs," said Chi.
Giants fan Robert Toyama said Kezar is an institution, and the second best place to watch the game behind Oracle Park itself.
"If I had the expendable income, I would probably do it. And if have the time, I would probably go to the stadium. But as it is now, I don't have neither of those. So the bar is very convenient and you save a lot of money," said Toyama.
Most fans at the bar said they'll pass on the $10 hotdog and the $13 beer at the ballpark. They said prices are more reasonable at the local bars and that there's still a lot of energy.
for more features.