Super Bowl Sunday is typically one of the most lucrative nights for sports bars and food orders. But with the pandemic and Mother Nature teaming up and presenting some formidable obstacles on the day of the big game, one outdoor viewing party in Brooklyn faced an uphill battle trying to lure customers.
In fact, setting up a projection screen for what could have been an awesome outdoor viewing party to enjoy the Super Bowl led to even more disappointment for a struggling business owner, hoping her bar and restaurant will survive the pandemic.
As the Super Bowl was just getting underway and being shown on an outdoor projection screen at Parklife, a bar and restaurant in Park Slope, security guard Ola Cummings waited patiently, knowing a reservation that had been made for 615 p.m. had not yet been canceled.
“I think everybody decided to stay home because it started snowing and then it literally started snowing really, really hard,” Cummings said.
With Sunday’s snowfall ending in Park Slope less than two hours before the big game, Parklife’s co-owner, Julie Kim, told NY1 her staff had worked really hard to clear as much snow as possible, and to set up a big projection screen for the outdoor viewing party.
But by 7 p.m., after no customers had showed up, she made the game day decision to call it a night.
“We were pretty disappointed, but there was a little bit of hope that at 5 p.m. the snow would stop, and it did!” Kim said. “I just think it was too much of a deterrent. People are already staying home.”
Due to the pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio had urged New Yorkers to not host or attend traditional Super Bowl parties that are typically held indoors.
Kim told NY1, since Parklife has plenty of outdoor space, she felt a socially distant outdoor viewing party would be a creative way to attract business.
Had it not been for the snow, Kim believes her setup, which involved benches, heating lamps, hand warmers, blankets and two heated solariums that allow at least 50 percent airflow would have been a success.
“It’s one of our most popular nights here at Parklife,” Kim explained. “We had the event up on Eventbrite. We had about 50 reservations, so that would have been a full house, even with the limited capacity. We just didn’t see that turn out today.”
From 50 advance reservations to a turnout of zero customers, it was a disappointing Super Bowl Sunday for a business that has been open since June 2017, and simply looking to survive the pandemic.