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Downtown Hartford Businesses Await Yard Goats’ Season Opener
Elisha Machado
Apr 7, 2022

HARTFORD, Conn. — Downtown Hartford businesses are looking forward to the Yard Goats’ Season Opener and pre-game Party on Pratt scheduled for Friday. The two events are expected to bring much-needed business as baseball fans are expected to flood into the downtown area.

President Tim Restall of the Hartford Yard Goats says the park is ready, staff are trained and the players are ready to play ball.

The season couldn’t come at a better time for local businesses, like City Steam Brewery on Main Street.

“We are so geared up for this year’s goats team. Just was up there meeting the team yesterday,“ Leonard said. “We’ve just recently hired some new staff and we’re gonna be ready to go for a bigger year this year than last year for sure. “

General Manager Chris Leonard said things are looking up as some big corporations downtown are bringing workers back to the office.

“We’re seeing bigger afternoons with happy hour,” he said. “Certainly we’re getting a little uptick right now and Yard Goats, perfect timing—weather’s getting warmer.”

Across the road on Pratt Street, El Poeta De Los Sandwiches is ready to fire up the grill for hungry visitors Friday. The Puerto Rican-inspired sandwich and smoothie shop serves a variety of eats including grilled sandwiches, wings, fries and empanadas.

The pre-game ‘Party on Pratt’ featuring live music is planned for 5:00-7:00 p.m. Friday on Pratt Street.

El Poeta De Los Sandwiches Owner Cruz Pagan expects the shop will be very busy.

“This year, thank God, everything is starting to go back to normal,” Pagan said. “We’re really happy the Yard Goats have the games again.”

The ballpark is ready for fans to return to Dunkin Donuts Park after it served as a COVID testing and vaccination site during the pandemic.

“Can’t wait for this place to be filled again with fans,” Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said at a news conference Friday afternoon. “Can’t wait for all those fans to be back in downtown Hartford.

But beyond Friday’s opener, Mayor Bronin said more plans are in the works to get people back downtown.

“Just yesterday, we were able to secure a very competitive grant to continue the development up here on Main Street, bringing the historic Arrowhead Cafe building and Flatiron Building back to life.

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