Businesses cash in on so called "biggest party night of the year"

Posted at: 11/21/2012 9:45 PM
Updated at: 11/22/2012 12:17 AM
By: Don Hudson

Some call it "black Wednesday." Some people call it Thanksgiving Eve. No matter what you call the night before Thanksgiving - it is big business for restaurants and bars. And the celebrations rival most holidays.

Wednesday night we went out to check on the crowds along East Avenue in Rochester. The bar scene looked more like a busy weekend night. And the owners of bars, like Joe Vecere from Mathews East End Grill, were ready for all of the patrons. Vecere says "Generally you treat this Wednesday like you do for a normal Friday night. You staff accordingly. You plan accordingly with your ordering and stuff."

Down the road about a block Cam's Pizzeria was at full weekend staffing. And everyone was busy making pies to satisfy the expected crowds. Manager Samantha Hanks says tonight "It's all hands on deck." And she adds Cam's plans to "Be open until three in the morning to take care of the bar crowd."

While retail businesses prepare for Black Friday, bars and restaurants enjoy Black Wednesday. 
No one lines up early, but they stay late. And business owners say - often old customers also find their way back. Vecere says "Over the years we have customers who move away from the area. And they usually come back for this holiday, so, it's a nice homecoming for certain people."

And if you needed any more evidence of just how big the crowds get. Watch the businesses that cater to the bar and restaurant crowds on Thanksgiving Eve. We talked to a couple of Jose Cuervo vendors Kara Smeal and Jackie Interlicchia. Smeal says it is one of the "biggest drinking nights of the year." And she added "Everyone is home from school. Everyone is off work tomorrow. So, we are trying to get everyone to drink Jose Cuervo. If there is a big crowd - why not?"