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The Daily Tar Heel

Franklin Street Vendors See Small Game Crowd

Certain Franklin Street business owners said the 41-9 win prompted an increase in sales, while others said it was business as usual. Actual statistics on sales were not available Sunday.

At Chapel Hill Sportswear, located at 133 E. Franklin St., employees who were not busy handling long lines at the register were rushing to keep racks in order and clothes neatly folded.

An employee said the clothing store always sells more on game days but that Saturday's win could have upped sales even more.

"Considering we won, I think it could be a bit more," a Chapel Hill Sportswear employee said. "I think people are celebrating in other ways."

But some bar and restaurant owners said business did not pick up significantly after the game.

Jim Earnhardt, owner of 23 Steps, located at 173 1/2 E. Franklin St., said there was a slow afternoon crowd, even with UNC's upset. "Twelve o' clock is the worst time you can have a game for the bar business," he said. "A 3:30 game would have been a totally different story."

Earnhardt said he remembered much busier days and nights the last two times FSU visited Chapel Hill, when kickoff was later in the day. "I'd much rather have a later game -- later games people get an earlier start." Earnhardt said. "Early game people get out around 3:30 p.m. -- it's still hot, and they don't really want to plop down in a bar," he said. "It also gives them extra time to just drive home."

Hams, located at 310 W. Franklin St., also was not overwhelmed with postgame business, said manager Claire Wanat. "It was a good day, but we expected more," Wanat said. "Maybe a little bit busier. We figured people would be partying instead, so we were not terribly busy."

Despite a somewhat slow afternoon, Wanat said there was a good-sized rush between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.

But Whitney Dunn, a hostess at Top of the Hill, located at 100 E. Franklin St., said the restaurant received a great deal of business Saturday, with numerous people deciding to stay despite an hourlong wait for a table. "For Saturday at 4:30 it's a much bigger than usual crowd," she said.

Even Florida State fans were spotted on Franklin Street. Ray Ferwerda, an avid Seminole fan from Tampa Bay, said Franklin Street didn't compare to the post-game scene he is accustomed to in Tallahassee. "(It's) real quiet and subdued," he said. "You'd think (UNC) lost."

Ferwerda, who has visited Chapel Hill for other sporting events, said he always has enjoyed interacting with Carolina fans. "Everyone has been very courteous; they are wonderful fans," he said. "They are great fans in winning and defeat."

The City Editor can be reached


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