Some businesses see business boost during DNC

by: Linzi Sheldon Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - While some local restaurants say business has been booming during the Democratic National Convention, others say they're disappointed

Eyewitness News spoke with managers at Uptown restaurants near the EpiCentre, including Mortimers and Blackfinn, and they didn't have a chance to speak because they were too busy.

Alex Myrick, owner of Blue, a Mediterranean restaurant on North College and Fifth streets, said they've had foot traffic and private events. They hosted Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for parties.

Myrick said they were expecting overwhelming business and were prepared to stay open almost 24 hours, though that wasn't necessary.

Myrick, who also owns Osso, an Italian restaurant at the N.C. Music Factory, said there are so many venues competing for business, but he's pleased overall with business. He's hopeful for business tonight with President Barack Obama's speech moved to Time Warner Cable Arena.

"We've had parties starting at lunch time. Cocktail hour, dinner parties and late night parties," Myrick said. "So it's been basically non-stop for both restaurants, Osso and Blue."

Not all businesses are seeing a bump in sales. Ellen Kemp, owner of Phil's Deli and Tavern, less than 500 feet away from Blue, said business was nowhere near meeting expectations. She said earlier in the week, she even sent some staff home.

"We thought it would be like the CIAA or the ACC tournament," she said. "We thought it would be like that and it hasn't been."

Kemp said she depends a lot on normal Uptown employees who have stayed home to work this week. She's hoping that many of the people who had credentials to attend the President's speech at Bank of America stadium and can no longer see him speak in person will want to attend a watch party.

She's holding one open to the public, starting around 8:30 p.m.