Eagle Street Grill lays off two-thirds of employees due to NHL lockout

eagle street grille.jpeg
The NHL lockout has cost 32 workers their jobs at Eagle Street Grille, according to its owner.
In a letter addressed to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, the owner of the Eagle Street Grille in downtown St. Paul urges an immediate end to a lockout he says has forced him to lay off two-thirds of his staff.

SEE ALSO: Wild goalie Josh Harding on MS diagnosis: "I don't look at this like I've got to take a new path"

Owner Joe Kasel says Wild game nights account for over 50 percent of his gross revenue -- revenue that's nowhere to be found as more and more games are canceled due to the NHL's no-end-in-sight labor dispute.

Here's the entirety of Kasel's letter:



This is the second time in a recent years NHL games have been canceled due to a labor dispute -- in 2004-05, the entire season was scrubbed. That lockout cost St. Paul businesses 5 to 50 percent of business, depending on their proximity to the Xcel Center, Visit St. Paul's CEO told the Pioneer Press.

But not all business are lamenting the loss of hockey. From the PiPress:
Cossetta's Italian Market and Pizzeria, just blocks from the Xcel Energy Center, is going through a major expansion, and profits don't appear to be affected by the lockout.

"A lot of people want to come down just to see what's going on with us," manager Raymond Vanyo said Thursday.

"Our regular customers are actually coming down here more often, knowing they don't have to fight the usual Wild hockey crowd."

During the 2004-05 NHL lockout, Cossetta's revenue rose 10 percent. Vanyo said business is up overall this year.

"We're hiring staff, but we could have hired more people if the Wild were playing," Vanyo acknowledged.
Even after federal mediators got involved this week, it doesn't appear likely the lockout will end anytime soon. Yesterday, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly released a statement saying "no progress toward a resolution could be made through further mediation at this point in time." That sentiment was echoed by players' association executive director Donald Fehr, who in his own statement said mediators "would call the parties back together when they thought the time was right."

So it looks like professional hockey fans will have to content themselves with video countdowns of Zack Parise's top 10 goals for the foreseeable future.


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10 comments
Timothy Frenning
Timothy Frenning

Gotta get more to do in downtown Saint Paul. I agree relying on the Wild is a mistake.

Kyle Amundson
Kyle Amundson

Watered down booze and wasted bartenders don't do much for business either. I was in there a couple of weeks ago after a concert, I only spotted one member of their staff who impressed, granted it was a Monday night so it probably wasn't their A team but yeah, it was a shit show.

Jontevlin
Jontevlin

@panopticon13 The upside is those were the supposed 100 gs waiters Tom Emmer talked about. They probably have lots socked away. Sarcasm.

webcelt
webcelt

I might be inclined to say too bad so sad, somebody didn't hand you business you were expecting, except the NHL got public money for their arenas with the promise of local business development. So yes, there's a deal, and the NHL is breaking it. There's probably no way to do this legally under current leases and contracts, but future sports facility developments should include clauses requiring leagues to pay for the losses of other businesses and laid off workers from league lockouts. If you sell your project to the public on economic development, and then you screw up that economic development, you cover the costs. Come up with boilerplate language that every government can use in their facility deals.

Lisa Andrews
Lisa Andrews

Ive been a bartender for many of my past working years. Its a very sad things when jobs are lost, but to depend on hockey for revenue in a bar is not good business. That design is set up for failure.

sallyjos
sallyjos

@atrupar Won't Eagle Street Grill staff be able to live on savings? Tom Emmer said they made $100,000+ in tips, right?

Lynne Rollins
Lynne Rollins

That stinks! I sure hope Eagle Street can remain there after all this, they've great owners and management that do a lot for the community.

mark.gisleson
mark.gisleson

I'm sure another factor was the revenue decline following Amy Senser's incarceration.

Mike Giralico
Mike Giralico

Too bad this hasn't resulted in Gary Bettman losing his job.

Nelle Bing
Nelle Bing

I think there is something to be said about a restaurant that can only draw a certain type of crowd. Why isn't it desirable when hockey isn't played? Bad marketing / business tactics on their part.

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