MILWAUKEE — Bar and restaurant owners in Milwaukee are hoping the combination of the Packers game and an ease of capacity limits will help boost business this weekend.
The City of Milwaukee announced Friday bars and restaurants with approved safety plans can operate at their plan's full capacity for the first time since early December.
Skybox Sports Bar owner Royce Lockett says he's keeping a positive attitude as the pandemic continues, and hopes people continue to visit.
"Skybox is the local Cheers," Lockett said. "This is the neighborhood Cheers area, and so although we were restricted in our capacity, people should always come back, they come back home."
Some customers say they recognize the struggle and want to do as much as they can to show support, especially for minority-owned businesses.
"I know the struggle of being a minority so I feel like I need to give back," one customer said.
The National Restaurant Association reported in December more than 110,000 restaurants across the country have closed since March. In its latest report, the Association says sales have been going down for three months in a row now, and losses totaled $240 billion in 2020.
The owners at Junior's Cocktail Lounge at 33rd and Lincoln Avenue say, not them.
"We opened up last year January 17, and then exactly two months after that, we had to close our doors," said Nicole Griffin. "We were still able to survive, and now we’re celebrating one full year of being open."
Griffin says there were some really tough days, but community support and takeout helped keep them going.
She says the combination of the Packers game and being able to host more people inside is also a reason to be thankful.
"We just thank everyone who supported us, and helped spread the word, and get our name out there," Griffin said.