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Big games draw people out
Times photo: Anthony Wahl Shannon Ray serves Jim and Matt Mau at Flanagans Shenanigans on the Square Friday night. Area tavern owners say recent football games have helped bring people out to their establishments.
MONROE - As people celebrated the new year and watched their favorite sports teams on television last weekend, local tavern owners were celebrating the larger numbers of people in their businesses.

"We had a better than average New Year's Eve and we were pretty busy Saturday because of the Badgers," said Angie Gruenberg, who has worked at the Depot Bar in Monroe for 10 years. "Even our beer distributor said it looked like we had a busy weekend."

Following New Year's Eve celebrations, people came back to watch the Wisconsin Badgers in the Rose Bowl. On Sunday, people were able to watch the Green Bay Packers defeat the Chicago Bears to gain a spot in the National Football League playoffs.

"The Badgers in a bowl game usually draws more people than a regular season football game," said Chris Schindler, owner of Friendly Inn. "We'll have a lot of people here this weekend to watch the playoffs. More people come to watch the games when the local teams are in."

Rena Alderman, who works at the Last Chance Saloon in Juda, said the bar held a special party for the Rose Bowl Saturday.

"It helped a lot that the Badgers played," she said.

Big games, like the Rose Bowl, the Super Bowl and playoff games, are popular with people, the bar owners said. The games can help bring out a crowd on a normally cold, wintery day.

It could be another good weekend for the bar owners. Today and tomorrow are the first round of the NFL playoffs with two games each day. The Packers play the Philadelphia Eagles at 3:30 p.m. Sunday on Fox.

"It's always a good weekend for us when the Packers are playing," said Jordan Walmer, owner of M &J Bar in Brodhead. "Anything with sports helps us."