Auditorium shows a major boost for Lynn restaurants

LYNN ? Foreigner and other shows at Lynn Memorial Auditorium are bringing people into downtown Lynn where they are patronizing local businesses much to the delight of business owners.Development Director for Office of Economic and Community Development Jamie Marsh said the renovated venue unveiled three years ago has made a significant difference.”Since its grand reopening with the Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops in 2006, we had more than 100 local and national acts,” he said. “The Boston Pops, Jeff Corwin from Animal Planet, Peter Paul & Mary and The Kingston Trio. Everything from 27 performances of the Nutcracker to the Doodlebops, Foreigner, The Irish Tenors, The Vienna Boys Choir, to scores of local dance recitals and events,” Marsh said. “It’s important to note that unlike some of the similar-sized Boston venues, we still offer the smaller local shows here. We believe it’s important to have the (Boston) Pops play here, but also local dance recitals. From rock to dance, to Broadway shows and MTV there is something for everyone at the Lynn Auditorium.”And affordability has been a major draw for shows in the new auditorium.”A night out on Boston to the Wang or Symphony is going to cost you $100 per ticket, $20 to park, $150 for dinner and you have to deal with associated traffic and the time it takes to get in and out of Boston,” he said. “Here, tickets for The Irish Tenors were $31 and parking was free. And once people see what a beautiful venue we have, they are sure to come back ? There isn’t a bad seat in the house.”Business owners, meanwhile, have seen a major boost on event nights, when up to 2,100 people head into the city’s downtown.Leslie Gould, President of the Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce, said Lynn restaurants were packed before and after the recent Foreigner concert.”My husband and I had dinner with LynnArts executive director Susan Halter and several of her board members, one was from Lynn and the other was from out of town,” she said. “We dined at the Blue Ox and the place was packed. We purposefully made an early reservation and got seated right by the door.”We were all amazed at the line out the door even as we left around 6:45 p.m.,” Gould said. “The energy was high, everyone was clearly excited. Everyone at our table felt it was a great night for Lynn, and much deserving,” Gould said.Norma Delgado, owner of Tatiana’s Restaurant, said business always increases when there are shows at Lynn City Hall.”The concert made a huge difference with our business. While we were packed both before and after the concert, much busier than normal, and we were unprepared because very few parties made reservations and we just didn’t expect to be that busy,” she said. “Next time I’ll be more prepared on my end. I’ll take out ads in the local papers to encourage patrons to make reservations; I’ll offer a buffet so that they can eat right away and not make them wait. I hope the City concerts continue.”Porthole owner Bob Gaudet agreed Foreigner was good for business and brought new diners to his Lynnway restaurant.”We had a solid crowd before and after the show,” Gaudet said. “People who ate dinner were from all over, not just Lynn, and even though they were in a rush to get to the show, the name recognition of Foreigner was a great draw to the City and was a good thing. An event like that really helps everyone and I hope they do it again.”George Markos, owner of Brother’s Deli, said he hopes the city continues bringing quality products to Lynn Memorial Auditorium because it is good for business and helps improve the image of the city as a whole.”I’d like to congratulate Community Development Director Jamie Marsh, his staff and Andrea Scalise in the mayor’s office and her volunteers,” he said. “This idea was a win-win for our business ? A concert like this not only helps me, but my employees, our vendors. It has a trickle down effect and helps the whole city. In tough times like these we need to support each other, and I hop

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