The big Y Live concert with Florida Georgia Line is just two days away.
Last year’s event was one of the biggest nights for downtown businesses and this year could be even bigger.
Every room in the DoubleTree Hotel is sold out this weekend, and the bars are stocking up on booze and food ahead of the concert at Stambaugh Stadium.
Christian Rinehart, the owner of Suzie’s Dogs and Drafts and O’Donolds Pub, says he saw nearly a 30 percent increase in profit during last year’s concert.
“It’s our third busiest day of the year. It was a great day. The only days busier are St. Patrick’s Day weekend and Federal Frenzy,” Rinehart said.
Rinehart also has a good idea on how much food and drink he needs to get stocked up on based on last year’s turnout.
“We definitely stock up on our food. We buy only local so it actually is a spur for the local economy all the way around,” Rinehart said.
With the hotel downtown now, owners expect this year’s concert with Florida Georgia Line to bring in even more people. That’s good news for newer businesses like Space Kat, which opened in October.
Jack Zizzo and his small staff cook the eclectic dishes themselves as the orders come through the window.
“We took over the kitchen in the Draught House and created our own menu. I’m just trying to do new, creative things to downtown Youngstown food wise,” Zizzo said.
At Space Kat, customers order at the window in the back and are given a number. As soon as the food is done, a server will bring it to the table. Zizzo says it’s like a mini food truck inside the bar.
Zizzo says if you plan to go anywhere in downtown Youngstown on Saturday you should get there early and expect a bit of a wait.
“We work very hard in the restaurant industry, and a lot of people don’t always see what we do behind the scenes and how hard it is to produce food and drink and make people happy, so just be patient,” Zizzo said.