While most bars may seem a little sleepy at 11 a.m. on a Thursday, this St. Patrick’s day in Lubbock, many were bustling. And it wasn’t just over the Guinness and leprechauns.
Thursday also marked the first time Texas Tech’s Men’s Basketball played in the NCAA tournament since 2007.
While Texas Tech ultimately lost to Butler, the game day was a big win for local bars and restaurants.
“I didn’t even know it was St. Patrick’s day. I don’t have any green on. Don’t pinch me, please. Just came here to watch the game,” said Carson Hadaway, a senior at Texas Tech.
Hadaway stayed in Lubbock to work over Spring Break which is happening this week. She and a few other students who remained on campus headed to Nick’s Sport’s Grill & Lounge to watch the game.
“I’ve gone to almost every single one of the home games. It’s been really cool to watch us progress over the season,” she said.
“Typically spring break it’s slower, a lot of the students are gone and there’s just not a whole lot going on. But St. Patrick’s day is usually pretty good for us and with Tech being in the tournament this week, should be a pretty good crowd,” said Nick Muscari, the owner of Nick’s said on Thursday before the game started.
Muscari stocked up on Guinness, green beer, decorations, and extra staff members, anticipating lots of customers. Six hours after his bar opened, he said they’d already sold around 400 of those green beers.
Within the first three hours after opening, most of the patron’s at Nick’s EverythingLubbock.com spoke with had already spent between $15.00 and $30.00.
“We’ve got a group of lawyers who meet here about once a week for lunch,” said attorney David Guinn who also watched the game at Nick’s. “We really like the specials and its always pretty quiet, even when Tech is in session. So as soon as the playoff bracket came out we all texted each other, ‘Hey, we’ll meet at Nick’s for lunch?'”
But the crowds were much larger than usual.
“We got here 20 minutes early, the parking lot is full. Good luck getting a seat,” Guinn laughed.
Tech fan Justin Pickrell arrived at Nick’s when the bar opened. He explained that he’d been planning for a while to take this day off from work.
“The last 9 years we have not been in the tournament, so be in the tournament on St. Patty’s day, it doesn’t get any better than this,” he said.
Many people at local bars decline to be interviewed by EverythingLubbock.com, saying they didn’t tell their bosses why they were ditching work that day.