TAMPA, Fla. - Sports bars are preparing for the big week ahead. This will be the first Stanley Cup to allow in-person fans unlike last year and Bay Area establishments are set to see a boost in business.
Cheers could be heard from lightning fans Friday night in Thunder Alley as the bolts secured their spot in the Stanley Cup Finals. It offered just a peek at what to expect this week as Amalia Arena prepares to host the first Stanley Cup Final game to allow in-person fans since the pandemic began.
"For all of Tampa, it's just exciting to get the chance to go back to back and bring another championship to Tampa Bay," Hattricks Tavern Manager Jeff Single said.
Championships are something Hattricks Tavern in downtown Tampa makes sure is on full display. Over the years, the hockey-centric bar has welcomed the coveted cup many times including last year.
"If you can't be at Amalie Arena no better place to be than here. It's just as electric. It's just as exciting. The horn is going off when the goals are scored. Everybody jumping around. High-fiving each other," Single said.
It's why Single is preparing for a big crowd come Monday night when the Bolts take on the Montreal Canadians in Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals. It's sure to be a major boost for local bar owners who were struggling around this time one year ago.
"Seeing everything back it's almost healing. It's almost to a healing point. We're very fortunate that we have a loyal fan base here and loyal customers here," Single said.
Single says he's fully staffed for the week and ready for the few hundred customers he's expecting to come through doors to watch the game. It's an exciting moment for the area as businesses prepare for a Stanley Cup Finals that'll be much more like what we're used to.