Beer Festival Brings Profits for Downtown Businesses

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

HARRISONBURG, Va.---The 2013 Rocktown Beer and Music Festival not only brought profits for vendors at the festival, but also to businesses downtown.

Jack Brown's Manager Barb Pedeville said the festival brings people downtown, even if they cannot make it into the festival.

"We were packed before the festival, during the festival and after the festival," said Pedeville.

She said customers came in and out from opening to closing time at both Jack Brown's and Billy Jack's.

"We did record-breaking numbers. Were non-stop from 11 o'clock in the morning until 2 o'clock in the morning," said Pedeville.

According to Pedeville, it rained during the festival in 2012.

"I think because it was such a nice weather, it felt like it was more people than last year," said Pedeville.

Rick's Cantina Manager Meghan Ryan said she is also happy with the turnout. However, she is surprised with the number of people that visited the restaurant after the festival was over.

"With it being our first year, we didn't know what to expect. We didn't anticipate being as busy as it was," said Ryan.

According to Ryan, sales at Rick's Cantina totalled nearly $6,000 on Saturday.

"It ended up being the most money we've made at all this year since we opened," said Ryan.

In addition, she said spring has been the busiest time so far for this restaurant.

"I think there's a lot of students that are done with school that want to come out and enjoy the nice weather, sit outside and eat," said Ryan. "There are more people walking around downtown."

Pedeville said Jack Brown's and Billy Jacks are usually busy until mid June. Therefore, employees try to prepare as much as possible.

"We're hiring. We're just more prepared. We get more beer, more food. We definitely gear up for this time of the year," said Pedeville.

Both of the managers said opening the patio seating area also brings in more customers because most of them are looking to sit outside. It also allows restaurant employees to accommodate more customers.

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