Mon., September 9, 2013 8:56am (EDT)

Restaurants Scale Back After Football Debut
By Jane Hammond
Updated: 10 months ago

MACON, Ga.  —  
Owners of a mexican restaurant just off Mercer University's campus in Macon say the return of Mercer football has been good for business, but not as good as they'd expected. (Photo: Jane Hammond for GPB News)
Owners of a mexican restaurant just off Mercer University's campus in Macon say the return of Mercer football has been good for business, but not as good as they'd expected. (Photo: Jane Hammond for GPB News)
After a weekend off, Mercer comes back to the football field this weekend in a home game against Warner University. The return of Mercer football had been projected to bring a lot of visitors and money into Macon, but that might not be happening just yet.

Businesses at Mercer Village, a retail area just off campus, looked to capitalize on the influx of fans for the season opener. Some restaurants set up in food trailers near tailgating areas.

At the Mexican restaurant Margarita’s, the strategy was to stay put and offer special drinks other than beer, which was everywhere. Co-owner Brad Cork says that paid off.

“It was the best day we’ve ever had. I’m not sure if it was exactly what I expected it to be, probably expected a little bit more, but it was still a great day nonetheless,” Cork said.

Fountain of Juice had food specials and extended hours but profits were average. Francar’s Buffalo Wings had a trailer at Tattnall Square Park, where there were more food vendors than tailgaters. Owner Carl Fambro hopes business will get better as the season goes on.

“If the game stays popular and once people get comfortable driving up and they see there is no traffic problem there is no parking problem, it’ll probably pick up,” Fambro said.

Still, he’s planning to only use one trailer when the Bears take on Warner Saturday night at 6 p.m.