Fans flock to bars, restaurants for March Madness Friday afternoon

Fans return for March Madness

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Basketball fans across Charlotte are soaking in day two of the NCAA basketball tourney.

After missing out last year, local businesses are enjoying the boost.

“Big shot at the buzzer here,” Andy Carter said. “March Madness is back thankfully!”

Starting at noon, people began gathering at Lebowski’s for a drink, a bite and the ball games.

“Any reason for people to stay and enjoy themselves, have a good time, we’re all in favor of that,” Lebowski’s owner Paul Bell said.

Bell is loving the boom in business.

He says they added heaters and an extra TV outside to make the fans comfortable on a chilly afternoon.

The spirit of the people around March Madness, it’s been something I’ve enjoyed my whole life,” fan Fred Cavers said.

The same energy filled Hickory Tavern in north Charlotte.

“This is the first time I’ve been out and about,” fan Brad Kemper said, enjoying lunch at Hickory Tavern.

Hickory Tavern Marketing Director Tammy Lucich says no games last year, means this year is all the more special.

“We’re excited to have the right environment for this tournament to bring some excitement along with the safety standards,” Lucich said.

The love of basketball is bringing people together.

For Andy Carter, it might have meant telling a white lie.

”I strategically told my wife I was going to pick up lunch, which I did,” he said. “But traffic on the way to Huntersville might be really slow if you know what I mean.”

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