Local restaurants prep for CIAA basketball tournament - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Local restaurants prep for CIAA basketball tournament

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Local restaurants are gearing up for the CIAA tournament that's just days away. It's a slam dunk for them with a huge boost in their business.

"It's high speed," said LaTosha Carson, a server at Mert's Soul Food Restaurant in uptown. "Lots of people come, you meet a lot of different people. Have a lot people that come back to our restaurant."

The restaurant is beefing up its staff, switching up its menu and extending its hours. They will be open until 2 a.m. next Friday and Saturday.  

Less than a block away on College Street, there's a different kind of flavor at Cosmos' bar and restaurant during CIAA week.

It's a club," said Pat Ycaza, one of the managers. "You know we have all these day parties, these night parties."

Ycaza says they go non-stop and see nearly three times the business they would on a normal weekend.

"We over-staff," he said. "We know every year gets bigger and bigger and bigger. By the time Sunday hits around, we look back and are like, 'wow, was that four days in a row? I'm just tired."

Despite the inevitable fatigue that comes after the tourney, Carson is still is excited -- mostly about seeing all the familiar faces.

"They always have to say before they go home, the first stop or the last stop is Merts," she said.

The CIAA tournament kicks off next Tuesday, February 26 when the first women's game begin at 11:00 a.m.

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