Restaurants, Bars Welcome End of NHL Lockout

January 8, 2013 Updated Jan 8, 2013 at 12:17 AM EDT

By John Borsa

January 8, 2013 Updated Jan 8, 2013 at 12:17 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) Liberty Hound, the first full-service restaurant in Buffalo's Canalside neighborhood, opened with much fanfare last summer to stellar crowds.

Then the NHL lockout came.

"Everyone's talking about the owners and the players losing money -- they have a lot of money. It's the servers, it's the cooks, it's the hostesses, it's people collecting tickets at the Sabres game, that's who's really taking the hit," said Liberty Hound co-owner Mike Shatzel.

Shatzel and his business partner decided that without hockey, they could not operate the restaurant during the cold winter months.

So Liberty Hound temporarily closed just months after its grand opening.

40 full- and part-time employees were laid off.

Now with the end of the lockout and the return of hockey, Liberty Hound will reopen, although just on home game nights for starters.

"It's Christmas all over again. Christmas in January," Shatzel said of the end of the lockout.