MLB opening day 2021 brings hope to weary Wrigleyville businesses as Cubs welcome Pirates

Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce suggests reservations
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Businesses around Wrigley Field have been anxious for the start of the Cubs season after an incredibly tough year due to the COVID pandemic.

On Thursday, those businesses are hoping for a very successful day.

They realize that we're not out of the woods just yet, but they want people to come by and show their support to set them up for a successful spring season.

For five years, Angenita Tanner has been serving up her famous comfort food favorites at Ms. T's.

"With the Cubs opener, everyone is looking forward to it. It's such a big buzz right now," Tanner said.

Tanner said the ray of hope has boosted her spirits after a tumultuous year for her Lakeview East business.

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"It was a very, very dark time, and we're trying to build back from that dark time," she said.

Building back is a common theme for businesses in Wrigleyville.

Jason Stern, the manager of Jacqueline's said the spring season is exactly what the community needs.

"Most of these businesses around here are built on that influx of traffic that the Cubs create. A year without that traffic has been difficult," he said.

While some businesses were able to stay afloat, others in the area didn't make it.

"We need to support them because they're what keep our neighborhood vital," resident Greg O'Neil said.

RELATED: Cubs Opening Day 2021: Bar capacity to be enforced in Wrigleyville as COVID cases rise on North Side

Meanwhile at Ms. T's, Tanner said she's one of the few Black business owners in the neighborhood.

She said her faith, creativity and loyal customers helped her survive the pandemic.

"When you're going through something like this and you don't know if you're going to make it and then people come from all over and say 'hey I'm going to make sure you make it,' it touches your heart. It makes you dig deeper," Tanner said.

You can see how much the support means to business owners in Wrigleyville and across the Chicago area.

The Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce is advising people to call ahead for reservations because they are expecting people to flock to the North Side of town Thursday.

Their message is be safe and go Cubs!
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