CLEVELAND — The return of baseball is not only bringing out fans, but also new downtown businesses hoping to bounce back from the pandemic.
“The state mandates were difficult,” said Joseph Frederickson, a part owner of the Sixth City Sailor Club. “
Frederickson and his team opened Sixth City Sailor Club in August as an emergency backup plan. The opening made up for inside dining COVID-19 restrictions faced at its sister location - The Society Lounge on East 4th Street.
“The idea was that we needed a patio bar and quick,” he said. “This was made specifically to take on what people thought were the strong points of restaurants during a pandemic.”
However, the spot shut down shortly after Christmas for much-needed renovations on the inside.
“We didn’t put much time and effort into the inside because we knew the patio was our main focal point, Fredrickson said. “We turned the space in about 40 days.”
Now after months of being closed, Sixth City Sailors Club is reopening. Its renovations were completed just time for Cleveland baseball’s return.
“Opening day is kind of like a citywide holiday and we want to be as much a part of that we can,” said Fredrickson. “It’s a good opportunity to appeal to as many people as possible.”
But will the 30% of folks allowed inside Progressive Field show up? That’s what the Downtown Cleveland Alliance is focusing on.
“We’ve seen more activity downtown and as you know, nothing's better than a few, 60, 60 plus degree days to get people back,” said Joe Marinucci President and CEO of Downtown Cleveland Alliance.
Regardless, Marrinucci says his team is moving forward pushing to welcome new businesses downtown using this year’s baseball season as a persuasive tool.
“If we can show companies that you can come down to a ball game, have a great experience, I think they're going to make decisions that will bring them back into the market sooner rather than later.”
Meanwhile, the sailors club crew is already ahead while trying to hit a home run with fans.
“We’re ready and excited,” Frederickson said.
More than 100 businesses are currently open downtown. Search to see if your favorite spot is open here.