Restaurants benefit from Yankee Stadium rap shows

For two nights, Yankee Stadium will host a concert by two mega-popular artists, and local businesses couldn’t be happier.

Billy’s Sports Bar, Stan’s Sports Bar, The Dugout, Yankee Tavern and Z’Novia, all located near the stadium, will be hosting parties during and after the September 13 and 14 Jay-Z and Eminem concerts.

The parties will include fun events, special deals and creative cocktails, such as the Jay-Z’Novia, which will only be available at the Z’Novia restaurant.

“This is going to be the first concert ever in the new stadium, so we wanted to get together and throw a party to welcome music back to the Bronx,” said Cary Goodman, executive director of the 161st Street Business Improvement District, which organized the two days of events.

“It’s going to be exciting,” Goodman said, “because it’s a neighborhood that lends itself to hosting big events, and we’re letting people know that there are more big events out there than just ball games.”

According to Goodman, the area has not hosted a major music event since crews started dismantling the old Yankee Stadium more than two years ago. Therefore it comes as no surprise, he noted, that the upcoming concerts are already sold out. In fact, they were sold out mere days after tickets went on sale, months ago.

“We’re trying to reinforce the idea that this is a fun, safe neighborhood, not just for games, but for everything we’ve got going,” he said. “This is an iconic venue. It’s an internationally known entertainment place that can support just about anything.”

The stadium holds between 65,000 and 70,000 people, and Goodman expects more than 100,000 people will come out for the two days of shows.

Sheila Baker, part owner of Z’Novia, said she is thrilled her Southern-style restaurant was asked to participate in the festivities.

“We’re up at the top of the hill on Grand Concourse and everybody else is down the hill, so we’re really happy that this gets us involved,” she said. “We’ve only been in business for a year, so this is very exciting. We’re hoping to pack the house. We can hold about 100.”

Goodman said seeing businesses embrace the activities at Yankee Stadium is a welcome change of pace from the attitude many businesses had about the new stadium several years ago.

“Even after it opened, a lot of businesses were still annoyed,” Goodman said.

“Now we’re really optimistic this is going to set it in the right direction.”

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