Food sales up on New Year’s Eve for downtown businesses

Food sales were up for many downtown restaurants on New Year's Eve after First Night Youngstown did away with street vendors.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – First Night Youngstown rang in the new year downtown with several changes from last year. There was a stage with live entertainment and fireworks, but the big change was doing away with food vendors on the side of the road.

This year, every restaurant was filled with people. Alcohol sales were up and food sales almost tripled.

“We accommodated about 150 people at once and we filled those seats up at least three times,” said Joey Martini, owner of The Federal.

He says they were prepared for the night, but this year’s celebration was nothing like last year.

“We were planning to be busy and expectations were exceeded,” Martini said. “We were so much busier than we hoped, but we were ready for it and hopefully everybody had a good time.”

Suzie’s Dogs and Drafts didn’t have an empty seat all night either.

“Suzie’s has a family aspect as it is. We have a lot of options for kids, and it’s just a fun family place. So I think we did do pretty well,” said bar manager Beau Bowden.

The success of the New Year’s Eve celebration this year is already inspiring ideas for next year. Bowden says the promotion of the event can be improved upon.

“We still had a great night, but we can always have a better night.”

“Just figuring out a way to get more people in here,” Martini said. “Of course, you can only have so many people in here at once, but just being able to keep growing business and growing downtown Youngstown.”

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