Downtown businesses hope to cash in on Astros' home opener

Restaurants are ready to bounce back as the 'Stros prepare to welcome fans at Minute Maid Park for the first time this season.

Video Transcript

T.J. PARKER: Well, a lot of excitement leading up to tomorrow's opening day game. And, just steps away from Minute Maid Park, businesses who didn't know they would be here a year ago are looking forward to hopefully a lot of people coming in to their restaurant and spending some money.

- We're beyond excited.

T.J. PARKER: Baseball is back at Minute Maid Park, and nearby businesses are hoping for a home run in customers.

- Last year was tough. I'm not going to lie.

T.J. PARKER: Across the street at Potente, staff are getting ready for what they hope to be a rebound in business.

- Let's call it 20,000 people over there. That-- you know, that should, in a week's time, help us out 10%, 15%.

T.J. PARKER: Like many downtown businesses, places like Potente had to get creative to stay alive during the pandemic. Now, with vaccine rollout continuing and the state allowing places to open to 100% capacity, they're hopeful for the future, especially now that baseball fans are coming back.

- It's incrementally getting better. But we're still-- you know, we're open 100%. But we're not at 100%.

- I think that a lot of people are-- they're ready to party and let go. And, you know, a lot of people are getting vaccinated. So I think the party is going to be back downtown. No doubt about it.

T.J. PARKER: Restaurants will encourage people to wear masks and social distance, but it won't be required. They will also maintain their cleaning practices to keep everyone safe and healthy. For tomorrow's game, Minute Maid Park will be limited to 50% capacity but expect to be sold out, and businesses are hoping to cash in.

- You know, we hope that it's like years before where there's thousands of people walking in front of the place.

T.J. PARKER: Reporting downtown, I'm T.J. Parker, ABC13 Eyewitness News.