ST. PAUL, Minn. - A new hockey season brings some much needed stability for the bars and restaurants in the shadow of the Xcel Energy Center.
"This year is completely opposite to last year," said Sam Bergstrom, manager at Tom Reid's Hockey Pub. "This year we at least know what's going on."
Last year's lockout that wiped out half of the NHL season was a blow to businesses that bank on big hockey crowds.
"Nothing will replace what was lost," said Bergstrom. "But it taught us a lot of lessons."
The lockout reminded restaurant owners that events at the Xcel can't always be relied on.
"We have to see Wild games as the icing on the cake, not the cake itself."
At the Eagle Street Grille, management was forced to layoff two-thirds of their staff. This year, they're back to full strength.
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