Business tackles St. Pat’s and March Madness

COLUMBIA, SC — Businesses are working hard this weekend to tackle both St. Patrick’s Day festival crowds and March Madness fans.

Maz Cotran, general manager of Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint, said his team had spent months preparing for the biggest weekend of the year. The business is located on Harden Street and in the midst of Saint Patrick’s Day festivities.

“We’re definitely anticipating a 30-50% increase. Last year we only opened a month and we had already seen a decent increase in sales,” Cotran said. “Now we have a year under our belt”

According to the Five Points Association, more than 30,000 to 40,000 people attend the event on Saturday, which takes place at the same time as college basketball games are taking place across the country.

Thomas Buges is the Managing Director of Cotton Gin and said for them this weekend is about capitalizing on a different business strategy

“We have televisions, we will show the matches,” he said. “We’re normally more of a night club, dance atmosphere, so hopefully we’ll have some game time business and people watching the games.”

Micheal Duagianer owns Boku in The Vista and Publico in Five Points and Bull Street. He said staying on top of the rush requires a full staff and even a built-in hour-long break in the middle of the day.

“We shut it down and said, ‘OK, everyone, we’ll regroup, clean up. And then we return it for dinner service. Even though the menu is available all day, that’s when everyone wants to eat.

Cotran said there is also a full staff at Jack Browns and that, even with a shortage of staff, a big game weekend and a festival are things his team is trained to handle.

“We had some big game days, the Georgia-Tennessee games. That’s nothing new, we had college football while having a full bar, throwing beer.” He said. “I’m very confident we’ll sell a lot of green beer while watching the Lady Gamecocks and a mad March Madness.”

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