From pregaming, watch parties or just bar food, people fill the bars on Broadway every Texas Tech football game day. Saturday, Sept. 11, is this season's first home game and the first game with less COVID-19 restrictions. For the bars on Broadway, this year looks a little different than last.
Raider Bar and Grill, located at 2419 Broadway, is open until 2 a.m. serving people on game days. Hannah Limones, a bartender at Raider Bar and Grill, said they had a full liquor and beer order that came in prior to game day.
“The game starts at 6 p.m., but we got here at 11 a.m.,” Zelyn Zapata, a bouncer at Raider Bar and Grill, said. “We will be here until 2 a.m. Last Saturday got really crazy and we did not have enough staff. Before the game it is kind of slow, until about 30 minutes until kickoff. People come in to pregame, and then people come back after the game.”
Zapata said the staff prepares for busy game days by scheduling extra people. Usually they have two bouncers and one bartender during the day, but today they have three bartenders and three bouncers, Zapata said.
Limones said things looked different during last football season due to COVID-19 safety protocols.
“We were a lot more full during COVID-19 because there was no tailgating going on,” Limones said. “We were hitting capacity around 2 p.m., which is around 90 people.”
Tito Salido, a bouncer at Raider Bar and Grill, said their staff is different from others, which is good for game days.
“This is the chillest bar if you just want to come in and relax and hangout with your friends,” Salido said. “If you are working on a college budget, Raiders is the spot.”
Local Bar and Grill is located at 2420 Broadway. Page Clintsman, the owner of the bar, said the staff is excited for big game days, especially after last year.
“We are always ready and prepared,” Clintsman said. “Basically, last year was terrible. It is hard to gauge how this year will go compared to last year. Two or three years ago it was amazing. The entire bar would be full right now. I feel like we are still trying to bounce back.”
Jacob Blevins, a fourth-year finance major from Richmond, Virginia, said this is his first game day on Broadway and said football almost seems like a religion.
“We are headed to a tailgate, we just needed some food,” Blevins said. “The culture of the whole town on game day is really crazy. However, if you’re trying to relax instead of partying on a game day, I would go to the bars on Broadway.”