Business, Central New York, Consumer, Syracuse, Things to do

Syracuse Bars Experience a ‘Ghost Town’ During Winter Break

NCC News reporter Tommy Farrell finds out how bars near campus survive during Winter Break (c) 2017 Tommy Farrell

By Tommy Farrell SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Syracuse University is home to over 20,000 students with five bars on campus. Other schools in the area include LeMoyne College and SUNY ESF.

One of the most popular bars near SU, Harry’ssees a decline in customers and change in clientele.

“It’s a desert,” said John Shahin, owner of Harry’s Bar. “It’s a ghost town up here, there’s nothing going on. The only time we open up is for home basketball games.”

Shahin said that business relies on student customers, but they look forward to the local fans for basketball games – that’s why he doesn’t completely shut down Harry’s for winter break.

“Even during the school year when the students are in session, they’re not coming out to go up to the Dome,” Shahin said. “They go straight up to the Dome. We’re doing the professional people who want to have a few cocktails and have something quick to eat before they go up to the Dome.”

Peter Benson, an international student at Syracuse University, was in his off-campus apartment in Syracuse for Thanksgiving and found it difficult finding places open for business.

“I just wanted to go in and get some juice and they were closed, so that was kind of annoying,” Benson said. “I’m worried that there’s going to be that same effect of, not only not being able to drink, but not being able to do anything.”

Harry’s Bar will start its winter break schedule on Saturday December 16th and resume to normal hours on Tuesday January 16th.

Beer flowing out of a tap at Harry's Bar (c) 2017 Tommy Farrell