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Orioles’ home opener gives downtown bars and restaurants hope for the future

Posted at 9:41 PM, Apr 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-07 23:18:00-04

BALTIMORE — With the baseball season underway, bars and restaurants battered by the pandemic are hoping the Orioles will give them the boost they desperately need.

Greg Keating with Pratt Street Ale House said the team's home opener couldn't come soon enough. He said it's been a challenging year after the bar and restaurant saw its business disappear when the city shut down.

“It was a literal ghost town," he said. "It was a literal ghost town.”

Keating said Pratt Street Ale House relies on the business from Orioles games, concerts and other downtown attractions. Without it, he said it was essentially impossible to operate.

While many bars and restaurants stayed open during the pandemic despite COVID-19 restrictions, they decided to stay closed.

“When that’s all just gone, it is the most surreal thing in the world," he said. "You just look at yourself, saying what do you do next.”

For the first time since the pandemic, the light at the end of the tunnel is starting to get brighter, Keating said.

Last week, Pratt Street Ale House celebrated its grand reopening with the anticipation Orioles games combined with warm weather will be the shot in the arm they needed for over a year.

"We looked at it and said we got to just do it," he said on deciding to reopen for the first time during the pandemic. "The traffic is back. The foot traffic is back. We feel like things are moving in a better direction and hopefully it gets getting better.”

The pandemic is far from over as some may still have concerns with going to a bar or restaurant, Keating said.

But, with baseball back, Keating is hoping business is too.

“We don’t know exactly what to expect. We are going to be open to the best of our ability. We are going to have a lot of outside seating on our patio and we are going to do our best that everybody has a great experience."

The Orioles will matchup against the Boston Red Sox at 3:05 p.m.. on Thursday.