By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — Wrigleyville bars and restaurants aren’t the only local businesses hoping for a boost from the return of Cubs fans to the stands on Opening Day. Shops near Wrigley Field hope the return of baseball means foot traffic will bounce back too.

For small business owner Mel Nelson and others on her block, it’s been a struggle with not many shoppers since the pandemic and fan-less games in 2020.

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The owner of M2 Boutique on Southport Avenue never missed an Opening Day game until last year. She’ll be missing the festivities again today to welcome customers to her shop.

Nelson is offering special discounts to customers who come in wearing Cubbie colors or gear.

After 15 years in business, she said this spring and Opening Day will be crucial to staying open.

“Especially the next two months for us,  it’s pretty much make it or break it for us. The small businesses have really really hurt in this area, and everywhere for that matter. So having the cubs back playing, and having people out on the sidewalks, and going wherever they’re going to be going, and shopping, that’s really really important to us,” Nelson said.

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The owner of the Denim Lounge in Roscoe Village said it’s really been great to see all the businesses helping each other out during these tough times.

“There’s a certain excitement in the city every Opening Day, and I just think this Opening Day, there’s even a little bit more,” Dave Shelist said.

Also opening for the first time since December is the Roscoe Village Pub on Addison Street. If you don’t have a ticket for Opening Day, they’re welcoming fans to watch the game there.

To add to the excitement, a mural was just put in place on the side of their building, featuring Cubs logos from the 1920s through today.

The Lakeview Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce website has a list of discounts being offered through the weekend for customers wearing Cubs gear.

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“Even if you don’t have a ticket to the game, come out to one of our bars, and you’ll hear the cheers from Wrigley Field, and be close by, and have the energy of the game without actually being at the stadium,” said Carisa Marconet, events & marketing director for the Lakeview Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce. “So being able to watch at a local bar, or being able to stop by to pick up liquor to go from a store.”

CBS 2 Chicago Staff