Whatever happens in Game 7, World Series has been a home run for many small businesses in Chicago-Land

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

It’s been a great season for the once beleaguered Cubs – and an even better run of late for many Chicago-Land small businesses.

World Series gear is selling out “in seconds” according to this report from the NWi Times. Fans are buying ornaments, banners, photos, magnets, rugs, toasters…basically anything with a Chicago Cubs logo or a W on it (OK, just kidding about the toasters….or am I?) “We can’t keep the stuff in stock,” a salesperson at a local sporting goods store told the media outlet.  Another small business owner who sells collectibles says “droves of people” are buying flags and other merchandise.

The team has also fueled a surge in marketing creativity. A supermarket actually made a throne of cases of beer crowned with a Wrigley Field scoreboard to go along with specially baked cupcakes that look just like baseballs with Cubs logos. A donut shop has been selling Cubs donuts like hotcakes.  A local craft brewery now sells a “curse the goat” concoction (if you don’t know about the goat, then you shouldn’t even be reading this).

Athletic Business and USA Today report that Cubs mania has so overtaken the town that the Art Institute of Chicago has made giant batting helmets that sit on Edward Kemeys’ iconic lions that guard the grand entryway on Michigan Avenue. Bars are making a mint. The famed Cubby Bear lounge across the street from Wrigley Field is charging a $100 cover, while another neighborhood bar is charging $250 a person that includes drinks and all you can eat pizza and wings.

Some businesses are using the Cubs success to upgrade their old equipment, according to this story in Northern Star. “[We] are actually replacing our projector [that] has been broken for a couple years and have added a new TV,” the general manager of O’Leary’s Ale House told the publication.

“People come in and they stay longer,” Jeff Dobie, the owner and operator of Fatty’s Pub told Northern Star. “Every night, we play ‘Go Cubs Go’ and even added blue drinks to our beverage menu.”

Would a real Cubs fan drink “blue” drinks? Sorry, but that would never fly here in Philly.

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