Bars all over the country are gearing up for the highly anticipated Mayweather-Pacquaio fight Saturday.
Except for Baltimore, where a curfew was put in place by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake in response to civil unrest caused by the unexplained death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man, while in police custody.
“We’re doing the best we can,” said Donald Kelly, owner of the Pratt Street Ale House restaurant and bar in Baltimore. “But it’s been incredibly challenging.”
People are required to remain at home after 10 p.m., which means that last call at the Ale House and other brew pubs and sports bars in the city has been taking place at 9:30 or 9:45 this week.
“This week is gone,” Kelly told Fox News Latino. “We’ve already lost upwards of $100,000 in revenues, and through Sunday it’ll be $150,000 without blinking. We aren’t going to make that back.”
The Ale House is located a couple of blocks from the home of the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards, and a significant percentage of its revenue relies on the team’s 81 home games every year.
The team rescheduled its Monday and Tuesday games, and MLB changed the venue of the Orioles weekend series to the stadium of their opponent, the Tampa Bay Rays. The Wednesday game was played at Camden Yards, but it was closed to the public.
“To have lost four of those games—one played in an empty stadium—you can’t make that up,” Kelly said.
Like many other bars in Baltimore, the Ale House had been planning on showing the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight Saturday night.
“Now, obviously,” Kelly said, “we’re not.”
Ron Furman, the owner of Max’s Taphouse in the Fells Point section of the city, told the Baltimore Sun that the bar’s sales were down 95 percent of what they would be during a week with normal operating hours.
“It’s devastating for us,” Furman said. “We’re talking about an impact that’s going to be felt throughout the entire year.”
Jason Zink, owner of Smaltimore in the Canton neighborhood, told the Sun he estimated that employees such as bartenders will lose about half of their usual tips. Employees making only hourly wages will be affected the most, he said, because of the hours lost.
“I could feel [a little] frustration in the kitchen staff yesterday,” Zink told the paper. “They were asking me and I had no answers for them. We just hope for the best.”
Pratt Street Ale House’s Kelly is also trying to keep a long view in the face of his troubles.
“I’m more concerned for the future of Baltimore,” he told FNL. “I’m concerned about the next three or four years rather than the next three or four days.”