ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Sunday was a big game for the Buffalo Bills. They’re were the national spotlight, in prime time against the team who ended their season nine months ago.
It was a good night for Bills fans — but also local business to bounce back amid the pandemic.
Business owners at The Old Stone Tavern say this new season has brought a great wave of business, and customers are enjoying the feeling of getting back to the old days.
A year ago, there was no vaccine, and many businesses were about to face closures due to being in high-transmission zones.
Fans went into the night with optimism. “I feel pretty good we’ve absolutely had some bad times with this team before,” said Jake Adolfi.
“I feel like we have the upper hand on them this year. The quarterback, the team just coming together,” said Todd Cornell.
Marc Taranto is also optimistic — for a brighter future at his bar and restaurant.
A year ago, things were a lot different.
“We were orange zone people, so we were down to nothing but takeout, so the Bills’ great performance last year we weren’t able to have anyone in here, it was killer, killed business,” said Taranto.
While the zones are no more, there’s still other lingering concerns brought on by the pandemic.
“The inflation, the food cost, the product cost, salary cost, labor shortages,” said Taranto.
It’s stressful, but he’s still smiling, doing what he loves on a busy night.
“To have people out here feeling good again, being vaccinated,” he said.
“I really enjoy the community and I really enjoy being around Bills fans,” said Adolfi.
As for his Browns shirt?
“Don’t look at this shirt either,” he said. “Tonight we’ll be all Bills, I can still wear my Browns shirt I won’t get beat up.”
Taranto says they get a lot of takeout orders on game nights, but the third party delivery fee for apps like GrubHub and Doordash are very expensive. He’s been working with Monroe County Legislator Rachel Barnhart on advocating for a bill that would cap those fees to be much lower.