Downtown Minneapolis businesses ready to reap rewards of Wolves playoff berth

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Business is booming in downtown Minneapolis as the Timberwolves enter Game 3 of their first-round playoff series.

Gluek’s Bar & Restaurant filled to the brim on Thursday as customers geared up for the big game.

“Nights like this are the night that we really rely on to keep us afloat,” manager Jeremy Kalata said.

He said basketball games typically rake in a full front house of the bar, but for this rare Timberwolves playoff game, they’re expecting a fully packed bar.

“I just know that we are going to be slammed,” he said.

Across the street, Loews Minneapolis Hotel general manager Jason Sitte said the hotel is booking up for Thursday’s game and is completely booked for Saturday’s game.

“This will be our first complete sellout since the pandemic,” Sitte said.

The Minneapolis Downtown Council calls the playoffs a big win economically, not only bringing in money but likely future customers.

“It’s another opportunity for us to make an invitation for people to come back downtown,” said Leah Wong with the council. “We know that as people come back downtown, they come back down with regularity.”

But a busy night could pose a challenge for workers as Minneapolis still grapples with staffing shortages.

“We pretty much all work together to make it happen, you know, managers maybe doing roles that they haven’t in the past,” Sitte said.