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'Hamilton' debut at Landmark expected to bring crowds to downtown businesses

Hamilton poster on the side of the Landmark Theatre
Pa-Zong Lee
A poster on the exterior of the Landmark Theatre advertises Hamilton's debut in Syracuse, March 14, 2022.

"Hamilton" is finally coming to Syracuse and it is expected to bring a major boost to the surrounding downtown establishments. The local business community is looking forward to a jump in customers when the production kicks off Tuesday.

The Downtown Syracuse Committee said a previous Landmark show led to a significant economic increase; The Blue Man Group brought in an estimated $2.5 million to the area during its Syracuse showing. Downtown eateries are hopeful Lin-Manuel Miranda's award-winning production will bring a similar bump, especially as businesses are still recovering from closures and limitations caused by COVID-19.

Kevin Beckett, the general manager of Modern Malt in downtown, said big productions like "Hamilton" are a boon to more than just the theatre.

“People get out of work, they make plans to get something to eat and it really helps out Armory Square, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Hanover Square, everyone kind of gets hit all 5 o'clock," Beckett, said.

Modern Malt even altered its schedule to complement the theatre’s showtimes at the start of the season.

“That's when we changed our hours on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday to be open until 8 o’clock, so we at least can get people in for dinner before the shows," Beckett said.

Many businesses, such as Funk N Waffles, prepared for the traffic expected throughout the Landmark’s season. Barista Kai Isachsen said the restaurant made sure to staff up for the occasion.

The Downtown Syracuse Committee said restaurants like to join in on the fun and craft special menu items after big-time productions at the Landmark. During the "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" showing, Sweet on Chocolate and Epicuse had chocolate-themed dishes as promotions. The committee said there is a high chance that restaurants will continue this trend with the "Hamilton" production.