Profiting from the passion of golf. The crush of golf fans on Tulsa this week is having mixed effects on restaurant owners. Some are raking in the cash, while others are feeling a pinch. KOTV's Sean Mossman says the old adage about location, location, location holds so true this week.
Restaurants right next to Southern Hills can't fill their seats. While eateries closer to ORU can't find enough seats. Just as everyone thought, the US Open has meant throngs of fans and tons of traffic along Lewis Avenue. And, that's just the way the staff at Da'Boat restaurant wants it. Located just caddy-corner from the main US Open parking area at ORU, the Oyster bar has been a hot spot for hungry, and thirsty golf fans. Bartender Andrew Lindberg, "It's been picking up in the afternoon as soon as every gets out. They've got heat exhaustion. So they're coming out. It's busiest for happy hour which is really good." And, they're not alone; every eatery located around the 81st and Lewis area has been packed. Both for lunch, dinner and everything in between. "But that's not the case for restaurants nearer southern hills on Lewis Avenue. In Fact the Arizona Mexican restaurant was so dead on Monday that by Tuesday they decided to sell off some of their parking spots." The restaurant hired extra staff for the week to keep up with what they thought would be hordes of customers. Manager Morris Prado says they bought into the idea that the Open would bring a lot of foot traffic. That's not the case, in fact, it's mostly brought that other kind of traffic, and kept their regular business lunch crowd away. "They call before and make sure that we have space to park in or it's not so crowded here. We tell them we've been slow so they can come."
Other restaurants in the area immediately surrounding Southern Hills are suffering the same fate. Several have completely closed down for the entire week. Most have taken to selling their parking lots to fans to help offset the losses of miserably slow business. Another business doing well this week, the drug store a few blocks down Lewis. The specials they've posted on their marquee, sunscreen, bottled water, and Gatorade and allergy medicine. Sounds like a solid marketing plan.