BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The weather looks to be temperate for what is expected to be one of the busiest weeks in Buffalo, since the pandemic began, in March 2020.
The Queen City is hosting the first round of the NCAA Men's College Basketball Tournament, and on Sunday, it is the return of the Saint Patrick's Day Parade.
The tournament is expected to draw big crowds, as well.
The action gets underway Thursday, with a full slate of games beginning at 12:40 p.m., with Providence vs. South Dakota State.
Both events are expected to generate a lot of dollars from out of town, giving a big boost to an industry that has suffered for so long during this pandemic.
"Good food and cold drinks," Eddie Brady's Tavern owner, Patrick Brady told Pheben Kassahun.
It is a common theme, as the Queen City prepares for a full week of events. Tthe first time Buffalo will feel some kind of normalcy, full throttle, since 2019 with both St. Patrick's Day and the return of the NCAA Tournament.
"We'll be all on board. We'll be crazier this weekend. Working this weekend. It'll be crazier Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We never open on Sunday but obviously if the parade is Sunday. We're hoping for nice weather. That always helps too," Brady said.
Bars located along Chippewa Street like Eddie Brady's Tavern will be serving specials on corned beef and cabbage to cater to the influx of college basketball fans.
Tom 'The Shot', who is a huge NCAA basketball fan said, "It's good for the city. It's good for the economy and having people know about Buffalo."
College basketball super fans like him will be glued to the TV and cheering on their favorite teams with an ice, cold glass of Bud Light.
'The Shot' added, "Not locally. The teams that are coming in, I'm not that connected, but Kentucky!"
However, if a pint of Guinness is more your speed, The Banshee Irish Pub will have plenty of it, along with free bus rides to and from KeyBank Center.
"On Thursday, there's a very small window for the intermission between the two games. Chippewa Alliance, we are associated with, are putting on. They are trying to get fans from the arena in the Chippewa area. Then we'll bring them back down to the area for the second session," The Banshee Irish Pub co-owner, Conor Hawkins said.
The authentic, Irish Bar plans to condense its menu this week for easy ordering.
"Our regular menu, we have about 45 items. So, we're going to make it a bit smaller, a bit easier for the kitchen to get ready for. Condense it to 20 items. Obviously, we'll have our Buffalo staples; chicken wings and roast beef. A lot of the Irish favorites. Things that are easy to prepare, easier to to get out so people aren't waiting too long for food," Hawkins said.