The coronavirus pandemic has brought the hospitality industry to its knees, especially for businesses around Boston’s Fenway Park.
The Red Sox and their fans will be back at Fenway Park for the first time since Fall 2019 on Thursday’s opening day. The capacity is limited to 12%. Companies outside the park are excited to see fans return – even if only 5,000 of them are there.
“This is a very busy street – very lively from lunch to dinner,” said Tiffany Faison, owner of Big Heart Hospitality. “We had the rhythm of the Red Sox and concerts.”
“This time last year, it was just this kind of domino effect, not knowing what was happening and then just shut it down, really shut it down completely. It was scary. It was really scary,” Faison said.
Game On on Lansdowne Street was closed for months. The pub only reopened last week.
“This is a new landscape,” said Joe Hicks, Game On’s general manager. “The opening day over the past few years has been crazy and busy. It’s different. It’s a new challenge. We don’t have the amount, we don’t have the sales we used to have, but it’s coming back.”
Other companies have found innovative ways to increase sales.
“We tried to make it as easy as possible for them to get their beer, be it online ordering and collection, home delivery, and later in December we introduced UPS shipping direct to all of Massachusetts,” said Ryan Shocklee from the Trillium Brewing Company.