Cleveland restaurant owner says they’re ready for major crowds during NFL Draft weekend

Cleveland restaurant owner says they’re ready for major crowds during NFL Draft weekend
The Cleveland skyline is shown, Tuesday, April 13, 2021, in Cleveland. After going all virtual in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the three-day NFL Draft, which has grown into one of America's biggest, non-game sporting events, returns with an outdoor event and thousands of fans. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) (Source: AP)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Restaurants are pumped for the potential for masses to flood downtown Cleveland during the NFL Draft.

“An event like this is something a restaurant dreams about,” said Pizza 216 owner Johnny Lis. “It’s like the RNC where we had that unbelievable rush in a week.”

Even though the NFL Draft starts on Thursday, they were seeing crowds on Monday, so he’s glad they were prepared.

“A lot of preparations regarding food, making sure we have plenty of drinks on site, making sure we have enough here to take care of all the people coming from out of town,” said Lis.

Cleveland restaurant owner says they’re ready for major crowds during NFL Draft weekend

Pizza 216, like other restaurants, was hit hard during the pandemic. Lis said this weekend will make all the difference for his staff.

“That’s the best part for me. It’s great to give them the opportunity to get more hours make, more money, and help their families out,” said Lis.

And while they’re serving up their famous brick-oven pizza, they’ll also be keeping their eyes on the NFL Draft as they wait to see how things shake for the Browns.

“Maybe trade up, we’ll see what happens,” said Lis. “But when they win the Super Bowl this year, which they will, I will be giving away free pizza the following day to all of Cleveland, and that’s a guarantee.”

If you’re spending NFL Draft weekend downtown, make sure you stop into local restaurants and show them some support.

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