CLEVELAND — Carney’s Bar in the Flats has a reputation pretty similar to the city of Cleveland. It’s known for being a blue collar place that bleeds orange and brown.
“Every year I look forward to the Browns’ season. Everyone is packed in the patio and out here,” said Tiffany Lee, the owner of Carney’s.
Lee bought the bar that has been around since 1976 from her uncle just 3 years ago.
“For the first two years, it was fun,” she said.
And like a true Cleveland, she’s used to losing seasons, but never one quite like the pandemic has brought on.
“You’re going from not knowing how long you’re going to be open. You can’t plan any events. You don’t want too many people in here,” she said. “It’s tough for me. It’s tough for the staff. It’s heartbreaking not to se so many regulars in here.”
She said a playoff win like the Browns saw Sunday would’ve been great for business.
“It would’ve been thousands,” said Lee.
But people don’t want to have to leave after the first half, so, many, don’t come.
“All of our sales are based on alcohol sales. Not having a kitchen, with these hours cut to 10:00 p.m., it’s cut us off at the legs,” she said.
Dave Gilbert the CEO of Destination Cleveland said while the tourism and hospitality industry is not seeing the fruit’s of Baker Mayfield’s labor just yet, he’s hopeful it will soon.
“I feel very confident for the Browns. This is not a this is not a one and done. I think we're going to see these wins for a lot of years to come,” he said.
Gilbert said this can set the city of Cleveland up for a quicker comeback when the pandemic is over.
“I think the more that we are seen on national television, the more that our community is seen as a winner, the better chance we have to win in those areas where we're competing against other cities for the rights to host major events,” he said.
Events like the 2019 MLB All Star Game and the upcoming 2021 NFL draft.
But for Lee, the saying ‘There’s always next year,” rings truer than ever before.
“We are going to hang in there,” she said. “Hopefully we are able to have this for next season. It’s all I want.”
The 10 p.m. statewide curfew is set to expire Jan. 23, but it’s unclear if Gov. Mike Dewine will extend it yet again.