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Local sports bars hope to cash in on upcoming football season, loosened restrictions

NFL Draft brings nice mid-week boost to some
Kitty's Sports Grill.png
Posted at 11:33 PM, Apr 29, 2021

CINCINNATI — Just like the Bengals on the field, sports bars in the Tri-State are hoping the new season brings success.

Thursday night’s NFL Draft came as a night mid-week gift for many restaurants and bars – many of whom are still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bengals "fanatic" Ty Aronhalt drove five hours from East Tennessee to be in the Queen City on draft night.

“I was like, ‘Where is the local Bengals bar?’” he said. “I went through Kitty’s (Sports Grill). It was the best one. Everything fell into place that way.”

While he’s focused on the clock – and the future of football in Cincinnati, Kitty’s co-owner Billy Watson is concentrating all his efforts on getting back to normal.

“Probably 90% of the people working downtown are still working from home,” Watson said. “That’s our Monday to Friday lunchtime business, happy hour business. That’s been down. It’s been nice to have this.”

While the Bengals drafted for the present – business owners are turning their eyes towards the future.

“It’s slowly gotten better and better,” Watson said. “Hopefully by football season, it’ll be back to normal.”