Local Restaurants See Good & Bad of AHSAA Tournament

By: Rachel Yonkunas Email
By: Rachel Yonkunas Email

At the Dothan Civic Center, it’s nothing but net. However, on Foster Street, they’re hoping that means nothing but more revenue.

“I've seen a lot of new customers that have never been here before and just the place staying really busy for the lunch hours,” said Shelby Fertal, an employee at River Nile.

Many local restaurants see a boost in sales when big events bring traffic downtown.

“With the basketball tournament, we still have returning customers from last year coming in this year to dine with us at Bella’s,” said Robin Thagard, of Mia Bella’s Italian Garden.

It seems simple: more people, more mouths to feed. Yet, that is not always the case. While it's not quite a full house in the Civic Center, the parking lot is packed—which hurts business across the street at Nektar Café & Wine Bar.

“Several customers come in and say they almost left and didn't eat here because they couldn’t' find a parking spot,” explained Ashley Kartal, owner of Nektar.

However, when customers do roll through their doors, it can benefit the entire circle city.

“Everyone here works here, lives here, so more money to spend equals more money going to help the economy,” said Kartal.

Still, restaurants downtown continue to bring people in happy, and send them off full.

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