A racing event held in London last weekend had a positive effect on local restaurants, owners reported this week.
The Eastern Grand, the biggest national event put on by the Quarter Midget Racing Association, had a “grand” presence in town. Quarter midget racing is a family activity and after a day of racing, families are hungry and looking for a place to eat.
And eat they did.
The Madison Press polled some local restaurants, all of which reported increases in sales.
Jereme Collins, owner of Ronettis in downtown London, said he saw a spike in business on Friday. But Saturday was the bigger day with a jump in customers he estimated at 10 percent.
“Saturday was rockin’ pretty good,” Collins said.
Scott Rothwell, owner Rothwell’s Neighborhood Restaurant on Lafayette Street, said the racers increased business that weekend.
“I had a restaurant full of them,” Rothwell said. “Good people.”
Rothwell said he broke away from the restaurant to visit the fairgrounds and watch the action himself.
“The people I talked to were pleased with their reception (in London) and seemed to enjoy their time here,” he said.
Chuck Stevens, manager of Cappy’s Pizza, said business spiked 5 percent. He said not only did the racers dine in, but they also ordered pizza to be delivered to the fairgrounds on Elm Street.
Los Mariachis’ manager Jasmine Castillo said the racers had “a positive impact on business,” but she “felt bad” because she was not aware ahead of time the Eastern Grand was coming to town. If she had known, she would have arranged her workers’ schedules to allow them to work later in the evening.
She said parties of 10 to 14 guests were arriving a half-hour before closing. She said it was not fair to her employees to ask them to work much later than the usual closing time of 10 p.m.
So here’s a shout-out to Wall, N.J., the site of the Eastern Grand in 2015: Get ready. Quarter midget racing creates not-so-midget appetites.
Dean Shipley can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 1617 or via Twitter @DeanAShipley.