LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – It’s not just U.K. football and Solid Blue fans happy the Cats are going to a New Year’s Day bowl, so are area bars and restaurants. Solid Blue fans are gearing up for the VRBO Citrus Bowl, but how are Lexington’s small businesses preparing for the big game?
“As a lot of people know that come to the bar, we have one of the best UK gamedays, it’s for basketball and for football specials,” says Erick Ostrander, owner of The Paddock. “So we’ve kind of become the hub over the last couple years for watching the game if you’re in town.”
The last time U.K. was in the VRBO Citrus Bowl in 2019, the Cats beat Penn State 27-24 and as a lifelong Solid Blue fan, Ostrander hopes to see another victory this year.
“To get a win, anytime you can get one, especially in a big bowl is great for the program,” says Ostrander.
Both The Paddock and Tin Roof Lexington expect full houses on gameday, just like they did during the regular season.
“Just with like the overall hype around our team this year with how well we’ve been doing, I think that we’re expecting a lot of people to come out to celebrate probably one of the biggest games of the year considering it is bowl season,” says Alec Elmore, a server at Tin Roof.
“We’ve been slammed all through the fall for the football games,” says Ostrander. “I think we’re pretty prepared and pretty used to how busy it can be, I don’t happen to think New Year’s Day is going to be like an all-time-record day, but I think it’ll be a great crowd and we’ll be ready.”
Both The Paddock and Tin Roof Lexington will open at 11 A.M. New Year’s Day and recommend showing up early to get a good spot for the 1 P.M. game.
“We’ve got entertainment all day so before and even after, we’re going to be going all night,” says Elmore.
“We’re very proud of the Cats and what Coach Stoops has done and his whole team so go Big Blue,” says Elmore. “BBN!”