Cubs’ success rubs off on Wrigleyville businesses


Santiago Covarrubias

Fans make their way to Wrigley Field to watch the Cubs and the Cardinals play Tuesday Oct. 13. 


The Cubs are not the only ones hitting home runs this baseball season. Businesses in the Wrigleyville area are cleaning up as the Cubs’ continue to win.                  

Michael Gajos, a manager at The Butcher’s Tap, 3553 N. Southport Ave., said he was working on Oct. 13 when the Cubs won the National League Division Series. He said the team’s win had a noticeable effect on the business.

“Everybody [was] in a great mood and looking to party,” Gajos said. “Winning does have an effect, especially with Cubs fans—they’re very emotional—so obviously the result of the game does matter for businesses in the area.”

Meggie Lindberg, marketing & public relations manager for the Lou Malnati’s pizza chain, said in an Oct. 16 email that Malnati’s restaurants near Wrigley Field have all experienced increased business and added that this is nothing new for the company.

“We actually see an uptick in business across all 42 Chicagoland locations whenever one of our sports teams is making a playoff run,” Lindberg said. 

Lindberg said the recent wins have helped restaurants in the area generate business. 

 “Even if someone can’t go to the game or get near the stadium, they might want to go out somewhere or watch with a group at home but order in some food,” Lindberg said.

Jason Stephens, a lecturer in the Business & Entrepreneurship Department at Columbia College, said he thinks there will be an increased demand for anything Cubs-related if the team wins the World Series.

“The excitement is going to draw in those outliers that usually wouldn’t be participants,” he said.

Maureen Martino, executive director of the Lake View East Chamber of Commerce and Cubs fan, agreed that local businesses benefit when the Cubs win.

“Everybody wants to go out and be part of the crowd, whether it be in the ballpark or at the local bar or even just hanging outside the ballpark. They want to be around other people to help celebrate the Cubs’ victory,” Martino said

Stephens said if anything, there will be more eyes on Chicago in   the case of a World Series win, and the coverage may draw more tourism to the city.

Martino said the entire city could benefit if the Cubs’ winning streak continues.

“It means a lot of money for a lot of people, the economics on a World Series game will definitely mean a lot of extra money for our businesses,” she said.

Though businesses tend to thrive any time the Cubs win, there is a potential downside, Stephens said, noting that there have been instances of rioting when teams do very well.

“Hopefully that won’t be the case here,” Stephens said.

Stephens said that any riots could negatively affect Chicago’s economics, because businesses and the city would have to pay for repairs and clean up services.

“Images [of rioting] could float out into the news media and those very same people who said ‘Oh, maybe we should go visit Chicago’ may say ‘Oh no, they are crazy there. We don’t want to                        visit Chicago.’”

Martino said she attended the Oct. 13 game and it was well organized, and she felt very safe.

“Outside the stadium, as you leave, you are greeted by a lot of police officers,” Martino said.

She also said she is confident there will not be riots, but in the unlikely event they do occur, the city is prepared to handle them.

“I think our officers are well trained and very strategic on what they are doing,” Martino said. “Yes, there is that possibility that fans might go awry and do some damage, but we’re not really expecting that [and] we will be prepared.”