Restaurants Prepare for NCAA Rush - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Restaurants Prepare for NCAA Rush

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By Alex Schuman

Des Moines has been planning for years to impress the NCAA Wrestling Tournament crowds, which show up Thursday.

It turns out, there is something extra St. Louis businesses think city bar owners should add to their check list - extra beer. 

"Flat out, we've never had this many people downtown," said Jeff Bruning, Full Court Press, Inc.

Bar owners in St. Louis, where the tournament was last year, say the mostly male crowd spends the majority of their time outside the tournament in local bars.

"They definitely hit the night life," said Steve Owings, Morgan Street Brewery in St. Louis. "But you know [they are] the best fans.  Unbelievable fans."

St. Louis owners say people will filter into businesses day and night whenever a break hits in the action at the tournament.

"No kids to worry about, no wife to come home to or girlfriend or job," said Bruning.  "All they're doing is catching up."

Des Moines' bars and restaurants like El Bait Shop will make some big changes for the three days fans are in town.

"There's really no way to plan for something you've never done.  All you can do is over do it and hope that over doing it will be enough to get us through," said Bruning.

Full Court Press, which owns Buzzard Billy's and several other downtown bars, asked their distributors to be on call to refill kegs.  They are also adding late night menus and will do whatever they have to keep the beer flowing.

"This is a big deal for Des Moines," said Bruning. "We've never had anything like it and if we want to ever see anything like it again we really gotta bring our best out and perform."

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