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Lubbock restaurants, bars prepare for Tech’s first bowl since 2017

Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 4:28 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - In one of the slowest business weeks of the year, bars and restaurants across Lubbock are working at full-staff on a Tuesday afternoon, as the Red Raiders (6-6) take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs (7-5) in the 2021 Auto Zone Liberty Bowl- the program’s first bowl appearance since 2017.

“It’s all hands on deck at this point,” said Albert Chapa, general manager of Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux in Lubbock. “We got everybody working tonight to make sure. For game days, it gets pretty nuts here. I love seeing the fans come in and cheer on the Red Raiders, and so the opportunity to get one more game in before the season’s over, it’s exciting!”

Chapa says Walk-On’s is expecting $5,000 in revenue from Tuesday night’s game, and a game day traffic similar to weekends in the fall.

“We’re expecting quite a few people,” he said. “We’re looking pretty close to Saturday night expectancy where we’re pretty much on a wait for pretty much the first couple hours of the game.”

Fans were arriving early to the West Lubbock establishment for Tuesday’s Texas Tech men’s basketball game as the game was spotted on screens throughout the restaurant. The Red Raiders improved to 10-2, downing the Alabama State Hornets 75-53. To add to the anticipation of the Liberty Bowl is the reunion between Texas Tech and its former coach Mike Leach. Leach, who now coaches the Bulldogs, was fired from the university in 2009.

“I think we’re all excited for this,” Chapa said. “We’ve been waiting for this for a while, since Mike Leach left Texas Tech, and we’re excited to see exactly what happens... to finally end this!”

Other busy days with regional interest are when the Dallas Cowboys or Kansas City Chiefs, led by former Tech gunslinger Patrick Mahomes, are playing. Both lead their respective division with an 11-4 record, and Chapa says a deep playoff run could pay dividends for his business.

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