The Los Angeles Dodgers are in the World Series for the first time since 1988, and that means local businesses are expecting a boost in consumer power.
After the baseball postseason started earlier this month, bars and restaurants in L.A. Koreatown have been hosting live viewing parties of the games. With the sales volume rising increasingly, the World Series, which starts today, is likely to take the fever to new heights.
Korean business owners said that their respective establishments have also been visited by non-Korean customers during the baseball playoffs.
“We’ve been packed during every game of the postseason and the waitlist ha
s been longer than ever before,” said an employee at OB Bear. To play along with the festive mood, the servers at OB Bear have also been geared up in Dodgers’ merchandise on game days.
“I come here often to watch baseball games,” said William Kim, one of the customers. “The atmosphere here is about rooting for the team with people while having some beer and chicken. So I come here regularly.”
Zan Beer on Wilshire and Alexandria also admitted that the number of customers has doubled since the start of the baseball postseason. The bar has been so packed that some customers order food and drinks without securing their seats. Zan Beer even changed its business hours on the day of the National League Championship Series Game 5 between the Dodgers and Cubs to accommodate more customers.
“We’re expecting even more customers now that the Dodgers are in the World Series,” said an employee at Zan Beer. “We’re thinking about installing extra seats.”
Sportswear stores have also become busy thanks to the Dodgers’ deep run in the postseason. Downtown-based sports apparel business Sports Nations has already sold all of its Dodgers-related merchandise and is trying to restock.
“Every time the Dodgers win, jerseys and hats have been selling at a much higher rate,” said Sports Nations president Young Choi. “I’m expecting even more purchases now that the Dodgers are in the World Series.”
It is not just bars, restaurants and sportswear businesses that have benefitted from the Dodgers’ postseason run. Korean businesses providing delivery food have also been given a huge boost on the days of the games.
“There has definitely been more customers ordering to-go and delivery food,” said Dan Shin, who is running Dok Dok Chicken on Vermont Avenue. “Orders have increased by about 30 to 40 percent. We’re expecting more orders for the World Series, so we’ve been preparing for it.”
The World Series Game 1 between the Dodgers and Houston Astros starts today at 5 p.m. in L.A.
By Hyunwook Chung