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Bryan, College Station bars and restaurants welcome gameday crowds

“It’s been a long 10 months for us personally, but we’ve been very fortunate to have our regulars come back and come join us”
Published: Sep. 4, 2021 at 7:11 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Game day is back in the Brazos Valley, and after a rough year last year, bars and restaurants in Aggieland are hoping to have a normal football season, free of setbacks.

2020 brought its share of challenges and setbacks to everyone, but businesses were hit especially hard. As business owners prepare for the first game day of the 2021-2022 season, they’re hoping to hit the reset button and pick up where they left off the 2019-2020 season. Kyle Meredith, co-owner of the Rough Draft Whiskey Bar in the Northgate District of College Station says he’s excited for what the new season will bring.

“It’s been a long 10 months for us personally, but we’ve been very fortunate to have our regulars come back and come join us,” said Meredith.

“I think it’s going to be a great season. Everyone is going to put money in their pockets. Bars are going to recoup the stuff that they lost last year, and we’re just super happy that game day is here.”

In downtown Bryan, Wade Beckman, owner of 3rd on Main, is hoping for a great season as well.

“We are absolutely thrilled and excited. There are so many people coming to town,” said Beckman. “We’ve seen more students than we ever have come back in the last two weeks, so we know it’s going to be a big success for us.”

While business owners remain optimistic about this year, they say concerns still linger.

“There’s still uncertainty there with this pandemic,” said Beckman. “I think what we hope for the most is that everything goes well. There are no changes to the infection rates, and people are safe, and we just carry on through football season and grow throughout football season without any setbacks.”

Despite the challenges, both businesses say there are signs of improvement.

“Everyone had minor staffing issues. We’ve very fortunate here. I got a really good staff. All my managers came back. I had some new hires, and we picked a really good group here, and we’re very confident.,” said Meredith. “With this pandemic, It’s kind of like a rollercoaster. We’re tracking up, and then come week five, week six, whenever people are comfortable coming back in town, more will come.”

“Staffing is still a challenge. We are staffed adequately, I would say,” said Beckman. “We have the luxury of owning three restaurants and being able to juggle people around a little bit, but overall I’d say we’re sitting pretty good, but we could always use more people going into even bigger games and SEC football games.”

Meredith says after most businesses suffered a losing season, it’s time to bring home a win.

“I think it will be a win,” said Meredith. “It’ll be a win for Northgate. It’ll be a win for the city of College Station and Bryan. It’ll be a win for everybody.”

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