The business of football has always been about socializing. Super Bowls, Rose Bowls and salsa bowls go hand in hand. The restaurants in Cortez that cater to football affairs are not, however, seeing a tremendous change in traffic.
With satellite providers Dish Network and Direct TV offering football fans the ultimate game-day experience, sports bars and eateries in Cortez may become passe. Even if restaurants have the special programming, people can now entertain friends at home with the same viewing options.
Direct TVs Sunday Ticket is an all-exclusive pass to every NFL game scheduled. This gives customers a chance to pick and choose which games pack the most action.
Kokos Friendly Pub, at 2121 E. Main Street, is closed on Sundays during other times of the year but during the football season it remains open. The pub has a total of five big-screen televisions with four that are about 46 inches in size and one smaller TV is about 26 inches.
Freedom Leonard is the manager at Kokos. The restaurant/bar offers Sunday Ticket to their patrons and are usually accommodating to fans.
But Leonard does not see an influx in customers. She said they are generally slow this time of year to begin with, and her customer base stays the same with a local Sunday football crowd and Monday night.
They will offer happy hour specials to entice people in and also serve chicken sticklers, their grilled version of a hot wing.
People like to eat wings and snack while theyre watching football, Leonard said. We dont have fryers so we try to give them something similar.
At the opposite end of town, Dry Dock Restaurant and Pub located at 200 W. Main Street, only broadcast games showing on local cable channels both Sunday and Monday. They do not show Thursday games.
The local channels will more than likely feature teams such as the Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys, San Diego Chargers and the Arizona Cardinals.
Amanda Adams is the bartender at Dry Dock and said her customers fluctuate with the games.
Denver is a big draw, obviously, Adams said. We get more people in for Dallas and Arizona too. Our business really depends on whos playing.
Dry Dock has four flat screens in their bar area. Two are positioned above the bar for customers sitting at the tables. The other two are located on the back wall. They are all the same size.
Satellite options have become more accessible as Direct TV has made their Sunday Ticket free to consumers. I think more people are staying home to watch the games, said Tiffany Ghere, floor manager at J. Fargos. Which is good in a sense because they are drinking responsibly. Ghere has seen a definite increase in her customers during football season, but it wasnt as large of a bump as she hoped. Still, their regular customers are the majority on game day and they have noticed new people coming in more often, due to the pipeline and construction jobs in the area.
Not every satellite user wants to advance their programming and not every cable user wants satellite. Whatever the reason, on Sunday or Monday nights restaurants and bars will continue to keep the available viewing audience satisfied.