After dark 2020, sports bars rebounding in March Madness 2021

Sports bars rebounding in March Madness 2021

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Rewind one year ago. No NCAA Tournament and most of the usual basketball watching spots were quiet.

March Madness 2021 is tipping off and establishments like Home Team Grill in The Fan are open for business.

“It’s really nice to see the chairs off the tables,” said Home Team Grill owner Mark Overby. “We’ve got 16 tables now that we can seat guests inside and if weather permits this weekend, we’ll have another five outside.”

It’s a much different scene from last year. Instead of stools on tops of tables, they’re on the ground ready for customers. Bottle tops are uncovered and drinks are being poured. TV’s are on in full force. Overby says that, after the past year, he’s seen it all.

Of course things look a little bit different than in 2019. Patrons will be spread out, hand sanitizer is at every table, and menus can be pulled up on phones, but as long as people can come through the doors, that’s a win in itself. That’s a testament to the work of Overby and his staff during the course of the last 12 months.

“We’ve had our successes. We’ve had plenty of failures, too,” the owner said. “We’re just proud to go through the process and we’re proud to go through it together.”

Overby says he’s learned to take things two weeks at a time during the pandemic, but there is plenty to be optimistic about going forward.

“Now the spring is coming and sports are back and people are getting vaccinated. We’re feeling really good about it.”

Given the limited seating, Home Team Grill recommends calling ahead and making a reservation.

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