Businesses welcome AHL’s return to Mile One

Daniel
Daniel MacEachern
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Nearby residents not so enthused

Mile One Centre’s neighbouring businesses are looking forward to the return of AHL hockey — although some of the residents are concerned about rowdy fans on game nights.

“Not being from here, and not having been here when the Leafs were here, I don’t have any reference point,” said Michelle LeBlanc, who with her husband owns Chinched Bistro on Queen Street. “But I think it should be great for the city.

LeBLanc said it only makes sense that bringing in more business would be good for everyone.

“Whether it’s tourism alone, people coming in from other parts of the province, or other parts of the country, to watch games — hockey fans are hockey fans; they’re going to travel,” she said.

“I grew up in a hockey family, and we were all over the place, and my brothers only played minor, so I think overall it’ll be good. Our location is potentially great.”

LeBlanc said they’re considering shifting their hours to get some of the hockey crowd on game nights.

“We do a bar menu already, but we are thinking about opening early so we can get the pre-game rush and doing bar food here in the bar itself. We haven’t worked out the details of that,” she said.

 

Chris Rodden, manager of Breen’s Bakery and Deli on New Gower Street, said he didn’t expect the game to have much effect on the bakery because they don’t operate during game times. The business opened during the AHL’s previous stint in Mile One, but didn’t see a big business benefit and won’t be adjusting hours to take advantage of crowds attending St. John’s new AHL entry.

“We stayed open for the games, but there was no spinoff before game time,” he said. “People are just going to the games, and then they’re just going straight home, because it does cost a fair bit of money, right? The only ones that stuck around are the George Street crowd, and that’s not our kind of business.”

Rodden said they’re more likely to see a bit of a boost in catering business to Mile One staff. “I think it’s good for the whole town, for sure,” he said.

For Waldegrave Street resident Andrew Butler, the games are just going to bring even more noise and drunkenness downtown.

“This place should be shut down and blown up. These houses here should have been taken away from here long ago. It’s not the type of area where anybody should be living to,” he said.

“It’s just too rowdy. You can’t sleep. You can’t tell nobody what to do. There’s constantly drunks walking around your door, two, three o’clock in the morning, yelling. There’s no sleep; you can’t get no peace and quiet,” he said. “Daytime, the same thing — buses, trucks, cops, sirens, everything. You can’t get any peace whatsoever.”

“This place should be shut down and blown up. These houses here should have been taken away from here long ago. It’s not the type of area where anybody should be living to.” Waldegrave Street resident Andrew Butler

Butler’s girlfriend Nicole Kerr said she thinks the games could make the problem much worse.

“If there is drinking involved with the hockey, if they’re selling liquor, alcoholic beverages at the hockey — I know for concerts they don’t do that, but if they’re having hockey there and they’re going to start selling alcoholic beverages there, it’s  going to be a little bit more rowdy when people are leaving, and we get that enough here.”

Butler said the convenience of living downtown — and the effort in finding a new place — is what keeps them there.

“It’s time-consuming, and money-consuming, trying to get to places that’s farther away,” he said. “You get used to an area and stuff. … It’s kind of difficult, right?”

The Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corp. operates the nearby Jighouse liquor store, which focuses on promoting Newfoundland beer and spirits, and the corporation’s marketing manager hopes game nights will create more exposure for provincial brands.

“I think it’s all very positive. Anything that drives (pedestrian) traffic to that area of the downtown core, I would expect it would only mean good things for our business and most of the businesses in that area,” said Greg Gill. “With that particular location, we tend to see a lot of traffic there from people that are visiting from outside St. John’s and oftentimes outside of the province, because it tends to be a destination where they get a little bit more of a unique experience in terms of learning about some of the local products, particularly Screech, but also the other brands that are produced here in Newfoundland.”

The more pedestrian traffic, the better, Gill said.

“We’re across the street, and we’ll be happy to take on additional business should it come by way of increased pedestrian traffic in that area. That’d be great.”

LeBlanc also said she’s not worried about post-game rowdiness.

“No more than I am about the regular George Street crowd,” she said. “It is what it is. We live on the edge of George Street. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. I don’t think the hockey has anything to do with it.”

 

dmaceachern@thetelegram.com

Twitter: TelegramDaniel

Organizations: Bakery and Deli, Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor

Geographic location: George Street, Queen Street, New Gower Street Waldegrave Street Newfoundland

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Recent comments

  • Tom
    July 20, 2011 - 07:40

    “If there is drinking involved with the hockey, if they’re selling liquor, alcoholic beverages at the hockey — I know for concerts they don’t do that, but if they’re having hockey there and they’re going to start selling alcoholic beverages there, it’s going to be a little bit more rowdy when people are leaving, and we get that enough here.” This person has obviously never been to Mile One. Last concert I went to, there was alcohol sold. Boy, there are so many misinformed people in this city and sadly they are the people the media tend to interview.

    • Mr. Man
      July 21, 2011 - 10:59

      So in this story you interview a business that wasn't here when the Leafs were and has no point of reference, another one that expects no increase in business at all, and a resident who isn't even in business. Why did you interview these people? The headline says "Businesses welcome AHL"... but you didn't interview any businesses that welcome the AHL and expect to benefit or profit from it. What was the point of this article??? This is terrible 'bush-league' reporting.

  • Downtownie
    July 18, 2011 - 08:56

    There are other places to live downtown, further away from George Street and the night life where you could live. I'm sure there are many others who would love the house that Ms Kerr and Mr Butler are living in. I live downtown, but I live far enough away (near Fred's Records) that I don't have drunk people and loud people waking me up when I have to work in the morning, and if that did bother me, I'd know better then to move into a place on Waldegrave Street. Might've known what you were getting into when you moved there by's. The fact that there will be hockey games is fantastic news for everyone. Businesses will advantage from this as well as hockey fans. I think it's funny that people are still complaining about it.

  • Robb
    July 18, 2011 - 07:27

    Hey Lenny....could not have said it better....for some reason people seem to think that when they move in to a house or an apartment that everything around them will be perfect....well then you need to choose the right place to move into....you move into the downtown area of St. John's and everyone else knows what to expect....you think people are going to be quiet for you..??..so Mr. Butler and Ms Kerr, move out and go where there is a little less traffic.

  • Lenny
    July 16, 2011 - 10:04

    Mr. Butler and Ms. Kerr, you have chosen to live in an area which is very close to the nightclub area of St. John's. Did you really expect peace and quiet? You complain about the noise but are not willing to do anything about it because it is too much effort. Make a change or suck it up!