Phillies playoff games and Eagles wins boost Philly sports bar, store business

When the Phillies won the National League Division Series and the Eagles beat the Cowboys over the weekend, the teams weren’t the only ones celebrating — and seeing dollar signs.

On 13th Street, Shibe Vintage Sports did a month’s worth of business in one weekend. Across Broad Street, cheering fans celebrated the Eagles’ win at the Good Dog Bar until 1:45 am Monday.

From Philadelphia to Norristown to Bucks County, restaurants, bars and sporting goods stores are reporting business up 20% or more in the past few weeks. Owners say that’s thanks to the Phillies’ playoff run, which coincides with the Eagles’ undefeated start to the season.

“To have two teams do phenomenally is a dream come true,” said Christopher Mullins Jr., co-owner of McGillin’s Olde Ale House in Center City. “It’s refreshingly exhausting. … There’s just a whole new life on the streets,’ life spilling over into barrooms and storefronts far from the stadium lights in South Philly.

The fall is always lucrative for the area’s sports businesses, several owners said, with the Eagles typically drawing by far the largest crowds of any Philly team.

But autumn is usually not This lucrative.

With the Birds starting the season 6-0 for the first time since 2004 and the Phillies playing postseason baseball for the first time in more than a decade, fans are excited. At the same time, there’s excitement – albeit to a lesser extent – about the playoff-tied Union and The beginning of the seasons of the Sixers and the Flyers.

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In recent weeks, revived fans have shown a greater willingness to spend — not just on game tickets, but on hefty bar tabs and new jerseys, hats and other swag.

» READ MORE: Why the Phillies and Eagles’ successes might make you happier even if you’re not a fan

Business at Shibe has been growing steadily since the start of the Eagles season, co-owner Brian Michael said, with October sales up 50% compared to this time last month.

Eagles gear remains the best seller at Shibe. But Michael said Phillies long-sleeve shirts, knit hats and hoodies are also flying off the shelves. The same goes for children’s clothing, he said, as schools have Phillies and Eagles-themed days.

It was extremely busy last weekend, he said.

“With the Phillies home games and the night [Eagles] game that gives people more time to shop, all of that contributed to the perfect storm,” said Michael.

Good Dog, near 15th, and Locust got their best deals in months on Saturday as the Phillies won the division, owner Dave Garry said. Sunday was also busy, with fans drinking at the bar into the early hours, something Garry said they don’t do when the Eagles are losing.

“When they win, everyone is happier. They’re always looking for a last one on the way home,” Garry said, noting that Good Dog’s business was up 30% last week from the previous week.

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At McGillins, where Eagles games often draw crowds, the Phillies’ playoff run has been the biggest boon, Mullins said.

The historic waterhole is almost always full on weekends from 9 p.m. until closing, he said. But if the Phillies play during the day, it will fill up by midday, he said.

During the week, a few remote workers turned up with their laptops for midday playoff baseball. Others who are back in the office took extended lunch breaks, Mullins said, or finished earlier to watch with colleagues. The scene is busier than usual as weekday lunch crowds have dwindled since the pandemic.

“That’s why it’s even more valuable to have those day games,” Mullins said.

Overall, he added, business is up about 25%.

The effects are also being felt in the suburbs.

At Steppy’s 2912 Eatery and Bar in Norristown, manager Anthony Taormina said every team in the playoffs boosts business. On days when Phillies playoff games are played, he can expect revenue growth of 25%, he said.

In Bristol, more people are coming to the Bucks County Baseball Co. sports memorabilia store and online sales are up at least 20% in the last two weeks, said JP Lutz, who co-owns the store with his father Jim.

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“I think what made this year unique in terms of championship runs was that nobody really expected the Phillies to make the playoffs. And for the most part, the Eagles’ run was a surprise,” he said.

Some people buy vintage gear from past championships for good luck, he said, while a new generation embraces the Phillies.

» READ MORE: Philadelphia police prepare for potential fan celebrations as Phillies win NLCS and head to World Series

Michael von Lutz and Shibe said they’re trying to stock up around the holiday season and ordering more Phillies stuff than usual.

“If there’s a parade, we’ll be in the thick of it,” Michael said. “We’re placing orders with our suppliers next week if they have a chance of making it to the next round and even winning it.”

Restaurant owners are also forward-thinking, experimenting with augmenting staff on Phillies game days and making early preparations for championship celebrations—all without jinxing their beloved teams.

The exhaustion of such celebrations, they said, would be worth it — both for the increase in sales and the excitement it would bring to the city.

“These are some of the best days,” said Garry of Good Dog, who recalled helping out as a bartender after winning the 2008 Phillies World Series. Normally, “New Year’s Day would be the busiest. The World Series and the Super Bowl blow that out of the water.”


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