SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The return of baseball is bringing a much-needed boost to restaurants and bars near Petco Park.
“We get hit right before the game and we get hit right after the game so it has brought a lot of business, a lot of great crowds," said Allyson McKeag, the general manager of Cafe Sevilla.
It was a busy weekend for restaurants on Fifth Avenue in the Gaslamp Quarter as thousands of baseball fans returned to the stadium for the first homestand of the season.
“We see them [fans] all walking down, in brown and yellow, ready to go to the game and they start lining up," said Clem Martineau, the general manager of Union Kitchen and Tap.
McKeag said she looks forward to baseball season every year and the increase in customers who walk through their doors.
“When the Padres play, you have everyone from L.A., from different sorts of cities coming out just to enjoy San Diego and be here at Petco Park,” she said.
McKeag said she’s grateful for the boost in business as they work to recover from the pandemic.
“It’s been a struggle. We’ve been back and forth, different scenarios… inside, outside," McKeag said.
With COVID restrictions lifted and a steady return to normalcy, Martineau feels this season will be better than years past.
“Not everyone was ready to go out yet. Now, everyone just wants to have fun. They just want to get their life back to normal and go to a ball game," Martineau said.
Next weekend, the Padres play against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Restaurants expect even bigger crowds to turn out for the rivalry games.