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Downtown St. Louis businesses buzzing about college basketball tournament

"Man, we are excited. We have our booth at Enterprise Center and we're ready to make a lot of money," said Chef Jason Austin at Sugarfire.

ST. LOUIS — At Sugarfire Smoke House near the corner of 6th and Washington Avenue, you might say Chef Jason Austin and is team are on fire about Arch Madness rolling back into town.

"It's been great. I mean tons of revenue. All kinds of people from all over the country," said Chef Austin.

People are now descending on St. Louis for the ever-popular Missouri Valley Conference Basketball Tournament at Enterprise Center.

For the past three years, Sugarfire has been one of many area businesses participating in the annual event.

The folks at the restaurant have a booth set up each night during the tournament, giving their energetic chef a chance to serve their top three sandwiches to basketball fans.

"Our brisket sandwich is the best in St. Louis. Our smoked turkey is phenomenal and our pulled pork is something that can't be recreated. Those three simple sandwiches in a stadium like that you know they will sell like hotcakes," said Chef Austin.

Down the street at Pop's Kitchen at 14th and Washington Avenue is also buzzing about basketball.

"Yeah, man we are ready," said Manager, Anis Ahmad.

They too are ready for the thousands of college students, their parents and many more.

Businesses, hit hard by the two-year coronavirus pandemic sure hope the basketball tournament will only help them bounce back.

The four-day basketball tournament tipped off today.

"We're busy. I've seen a lot of college basketball jackets and I've seen a lot of different faces coming here to our business and hopefully, I will see more faces," said Ahmad.

"We want to get our brand out there you know. We're widely known here in St. Louis, but we want to be widely known all across the U.S.," said Chef Jason Austin.

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