Business Booms in Hayward in Light of Birkebeiner

Emily Ness
Updated: February 21, 2020 10:39 PM

There is tons to see and do during Hayward’s trademark event of the year—the Birkebeiner. During the three days of racing, people from all over the globe come to the small town. As a result, local shops, restaurants and businesses flourish.


Tim Metropolis, the owner of TNT’s Bar & Grill said that he had all crews on deck to keep up with the demand.

“It’s one of the busiest years already. The weather has been great for everybody and we’re running out of things, but we’re constantly getting replenished,” Metropolis said.

Billie Jo Sabin, the owner of Anglers Bar & Grill said that in addition to staff, she brings in volunteers.

“We started planning for this event about five, six weeks ago because it’s huge in the community” Sabin said. “We have brats on the deck and we do beer and bloody Mary’s and screw drivers and we run all kinds of specials.”

Another local business looking to stay ahead is Hayward’s Gourmet Popcorn. Jamison Vobornik, employee said that in addition to food and drinks, spectators look for snacks. As a result, Vobornik said the shop prepares thousands of cups of popcorn in advance to insure they have enough.

“The biggest thing we sell right now is probably either our Hayward mix popcorn which is our caramel and cheddar mixed together or plain buttered popcorn,” Vobornik said. “Our most interesting one is the dill pickle or our garlic popcorn and those are surprisingly top sellers.”

Many local businesses use the revenue they receive to give back to the Birkie.

TNT’s Bar & Grill partnered with their beer distributors to share in their wealth.

“What they are doing is every beer sold, they are donating a dollar towards the Birkie Foundation so we partnered with them for that reason alone,” Metropolis said.

Anglers Bar & Grill worked to set up a spot for spectators to be warm and comfortable during the races with outdoor heaters and service on the patio.

“It is a fun, busy weekend and a great thing for our community,” Sabin said.

Hayward’s Gourmet Popcorn donated popcorn for spectators.

“Come in and try it. We’ve got a lot of good product and we’ve got a wide variety to choose from. If you don’t like salty, we’ve got something savory and if you don’t like savory, we’ve got something sweet for you,” Vobornik said.

According to organizers, this year’s Birkebeiner is the largest yet in terms of participation and attendance. For this reason, business will likely be one for the books.


Emily Ness

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