Bar owners hope to put the beer on ice as the warm weather brings in more customers

CLEVELAND - The local bar scene is hoping Mother Nature will chill out so the people will come back. Some establishments have seen a drop of 10 percent in sales and the culprit that is ailing them could be ol’ Jack Frost.

“We have felt the effects,” said Robert Shoens, general manager of the Winking Lizard on Huron Street. People so far this winter seem to be staying home and not frequenting their favorite drinking spots as in years past.

“People aren’t going out to eat and drink when it’s that bad,” Shoens said. Barbara Harper, who likes to hang at the Market Garden agrees. “If it’s nice out you want to go places,” she said. “If it’s cold you don’t want to drive. You want to stay in."

Sam McNaulty, owner of the Market Garden, said his customer flow has been steady, but overall sales are down about 10%. “Looking forward I think we are going to make it up as people realize they’ve spent to many nights indoors.”

With the Mid-American Conference (MAC) in town doing NCAA games and St. Patrick’s day Monday, many of the local bars are hoping to get that bitter taste out of their mouth as people come back to drink.

“There is going to be a big thaw in activity in the city [this weekend],” McNaulty said.

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