March Madness slows down some Columbia restaurants

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COLUMBIA - While sports bars and pubs see an increase in business during March Madness, not all restaurants thrive during this exciting time of year. 

One local restaurant owner, who asked to not be named due to protecting her business, said her sales cut nearly in half on nights when there are tournament games. The southside restaurant owner said it has been this way ever since she opened the restaurant seven years ago. 

"We were very slow this weekend, Saturday especially," the restaurant owner said . "I wasn't surprised though. Anytime there is a big sports game we aren't nearly as busy."

She said she attributes this to only having one TV in the casual, fine-dining restaurant. 

"During March Madness when there are lots of games on, people go somewhere with multiple TV's. They don't want to come out for a sit down meal and miss what's going on," the restaurant owner said.

Jake Rettke, a line cook at a different local restaurant, said the restaurant he works at is slower than usual this weekend as well. 

"I'm sure people who care about the games choose to go to a sports bar or stay home and watch the games," Rettke said. 

Despite the decline in business, the restaurant owner said she isn't too concerned with the decrease. She said she expects the decline each year, so it does not a surprise to her this year.  

The NCAA men's tournament will conclude on April 6.