The coronavirus pandemic threw a major curveball at the restaurant industry, particularly for businesses around Boston's Fenway Park.
The Red Sox and their fans will be back at Fenway Park for Opening Day Friday for the first time since the fall of 2019, with capacity capped at 12%. Opening Day was originally scheduled for Thursday but was postponed until Friday due to rain.
Businesses outside of the park say they’re excited to see fans return - even if only 5,000 of them.
"This is a very busy street -- super lively from lunch all the way through dinner," Big Heart Hospitality owner Tiffany Faison said. "We had the rhythm of Red Sox and concerts."
"This time last year it was just this sort of domino effect of not knowing what was happening and then just shutting down into like, really fully shutting down. It was eerie. It was really scary," Faison said.
Game On on Lansdowne Street ended up closing down for months. The pub finally reopened just last week.
"This is a new landscape," Game On General Manager Joe Hicks said. "Opening Day in years past was crazy and busy. This is different. It’s a new challenge. We don’t have the crowds, we don’t have the sales we used to have but it’s coming back."
Other businesses found innovative ways to boost sales.
"We tried to make it as easy as possible for them to get their beer, whether that’s through online ordering and pickup, home delivery and later on in December we instituted UPS shipping direct to all of Massachusetts," Ryan Shocklee of Trillium Brewing Company said.