Have a ball

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tonight’s national championship football game between No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Texas could mean big business for several local eating establishments.

Yanvari Hitt, general manager at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s in Andalusia, said the restaurant has increased its staff tonight in anticipation of crowds who may arrive to watch the game.

“We’re going to have two to three extra servers, and another cook in the kitchen, compared to a normal Thursday night,” he said. “We’re hoping for a big crowd. I’ve already gotten a bunch of calls about it earlier this week. We’re not taking reservations; it’s first come, first serve, so we suggest people arrive early.”

Hitt said the store will have several specials during the night, including $5.99 beer pitchers, $0.99-cent mugs and $2 pints and bottles.

“Those specials will be good throughout the game,” he said. “All of the restaurant’s big TVs will be tuned over to the game. Then, we’ve got the booth TVs, so kids can watch cartoons or something while the parents watch the football. Of course, I’m sure we’ll have a lot of kids watching the football game as well.”

Casey Jones, owner of CJ’s Grille, said his restaurant’s three flat-screens will also be tuned to the game. CJ’s will also have a chicken wing special — 12 wings for $7.99 or 25 wings for $14.99.

“We boosted staff a little at the start of this year, because we’ve seen an increase in business,” Jones said. “We’ll have an extra server working (tonight), and we’ll have our full-service bar open. I’m hoping that we see some viewers.”

Cindy Martinez, manager at Mendoza’s Mexican Restaurant, said the bar’s big-screen TV will be available for those who wish to watch the game.

“We’ll also have our normal happy hour special from 4 to 6 p.m.,” she said.

Bill Spurlin, owner of David’s Catfish House, said his restaurant has three TVs that will be available for those who wish to watch the game. However, he doesn’t expect to see much of a boost in business tonight.

“Usually on game days, we’re busy right up until the football game starts,” he said. “Then, when it starts, we kind of clear out and it’s almost like a national holiday because it’s so slow. But we’ll have it on the TVs if someone wants to watch.”