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Omicron variant creates more pitfalls for local restaurants, but one positive is in play

Weekends were still doing well for one local restaurant, but weekdays see fewer people in the restaurant.

PLAINVILLE, Conn. — They are famous for their “Dirt Wings”, it’s just that J. Timothy’s Taverne in Plainville wants to sell more of them. Business has dipped about 20 percent says J. Tim’s veteran manager Rino Ouellet since the Omicron variant of COVID-19 began to force its way into the state.

Ouellet mentioned that weekends were still doing well, but weekdays see fewer people in the restaurant.

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Ouellet said, “I personally think people have been on the cautious side.”

J. Timothy’s General Manager Greg Gardner added, “We lost tables, we’ve lost revenue, we’ve lost a lot of private parties because of this upsurge of Omicron – we’ve felt it.”

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But this weekend brings a bit of a silver lining in the form of football. The NFL is introducing “Super Wildcard Weekend” meaning more games and, most likely, more customers to come in and watch or call for take-out food orders.

“I would expect (the football games) to boost us, games being played, three times on Sunday is really nice,” Ouellet said.

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Not far from J. Timothy’s in Southington, a similar sentiment at Wood ‘N Tap, which now has eight locations across the state. The restaurant, with its flat-screen TVs and extensive high-end bar food menu, should also benefit from the weekend of games.

Ben Charlesworth, the general manager at the Wood ‘N Tap in Southington said, “We are ready to take care of anyone who comes in and watch the games or watches at home with close friends and family.”

Back at J. Timothy’s, Garber said, “thank God for Buffalo wings -- Dirt Wings -- and thank God for Football because the combination is magical, it’s kept us going.”

Jimmy Altman is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at jaltman@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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