For just one example of how Super Bowl XLV will be pumping bucks into the local economy, consider Al Biernat’s steak-and-fish joint off Oak Lawn. For each of three nights before the Feb. 6 game, Al’s will have a huge tent erected in its parking lot to accommodate 120 or so extra guests. (The main restaurant seats 220, and it’s mostly booked already). Much of the tent will be taken up by six “lounge” areas seating groups of eight to 12 guests apiece. Each group will pony up $2,000 for lounging rights plus three bottles of pricey booze. There will also be a 16-foot bar; DJ Andre and his brother Mark will spin the party tunes.
Biernat’s is expecting some well-known names to show up that weekend, of course. Already booked into the Big Tent one night is Tom “Platinum Equity” Gores, an LBO billionaire from L.A. Turner Broadcasting will be in a private room in the main restaurant Friday. The great ex-Pittsburgh Steeler Franco Harris has a reservation. Cowboys VP Charlotte Jones Anderson will show up one night with a good-sized party, and folks from Sirius Satellite Radio are due in as well. Brad Fuller, general manager, says this is the first time in his 13 years there that Al’s has been so solidly booked so far in advance.