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Blackhawks mean business for area restaurants, bars

CRYSTAL LAKE – The Chicago Blackhawks weren't the only ones working overtime Saturday when they clinched a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals with a 4-3 win in the second extra period against the L.A. Kings.

Around the Clock Restaurant & Bakery, 5011 Northwest Hwy., Crystal Lake, had to bring in extra people to work late hours over the weekend as the bakery had lines of patrons wanting to get a taste of their famous “Blackhawks Cookies.”

The cookies, designed to look like players' jerseys, have been jumping off the shelves during the Blackhawks' playoff run, according to owner Steve Theofanous.

The restaurant has made the commemorative cookies in the past, usually selling a couple dozen a day, Theofanous said. But Around the Clock sold more than 1,000 cookies last weekend alone.

“Right now we can't make them fast enough,” he said. “They have never been this popular. The response has been unprecedented.”

The Blackhawks' success has been a huge benefit to area restaurants and bars, and many are expecting an even bigger turnout during the finals.

“We'll probably double our sales,” said Jana Kozar, manager of the Buffalo Wild Wings in Algonquin. “Anytime a Chicago sports team is in the playoffs, we pull in a crowd. We have a strong Blackhawks following. It's a fun, happening crowd.”

The restaurant plans to offer food and drink specials during games to further entice the Blackhawks crowd.

“We'll have good beer specials. We've got over 200 TVs. The patio will be open. It's all about the Hawks.”

The Twisted Moose in McHenry also has benefited from summertime hockey, as many patrons are typically vacationing or enjoying the outdoors this time of year, owner David Hecker said.

“Sales are up,” he said. “It's making my summer a whole lot better. Usually the summer is dead.”

Hecker said he has ordered an extra $600 worth of alcohol ahead of the Stanley Cup Finals. The restaurant plans to offer drink specials throughout the game, and will even raffle off two game-worn player jerseys as the playoffs continue.

“Business is good,” he said. “The impact [of the Blackhawks' success] has been huge.”

At the Buffalo Wild Wings in Crystal Lake, General Manger Dave Murphy expects at least a 15-20 percent increase in sales during the upcoming playoff games.

“We're expecting big crowds,” he said. “We'll order a few more cases of wings and a few more kegs of beer.”

Murphy said as a fan, he would love for the Blackhawks to sweep the Boston Bruins. But as a general manager, he's hoping for a long series.

“A game seven would be a madhouse in here,” he said.

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