Bar, restaurant owners expect KU fans to arrive early for Saturday’s game against Ohio State

Lawrence restaurants and bars are sure to host packed houses Saturday during the Final Four, and especially when the Jayhawks take the court shortly before 8 p.m. The advice from several area sports bars: Get there early.

Thom Glanzman, manager at Buffalo Wild Wings, 1012 Mass., said he expects a large crowd when they open their doors at 10 a.m., more than nine hours before the Jayhawks tip off against the Ohio State University Buckeyes.

“Within 60 seconds,” said Glanzman on how quickly he anticipates spots will go. And there won’t be any saving spots for friends, he said, as patrons will only be guaranteed as many seats as people who show up.

Across town at 23rd Street Brewery, 3512 Clinton Parkway, manager Justin Wilk doesn’t expect fans spending the day at his restaurant in anticipation for the game, but thinks the brewery will see a dinner crowd who will just stick around.

Wilk didn’t hazard a guess as to how early people should get to the restaurant if they want a spot. But Wilk worked the 2008 Final Four and “we were packed. It was as loud as the Fieldhouse here.”

Calling ahead is probably a wise move no matter where fans plan on going, as a few restaurants add a stipulation or two for the big game. At Jefferson’s Restaurant, 743 Mass., for instance, they’ll have a “table minimum” of $40 for smaller tables and $75 to $100 for larger tables, said manager Tim Barnes.

Most of the restaurants contacted by the Journal-World were not taking reservations for gameday. But if they are, it’s probably too late.

Over at the Jayhawker, 701 Mass., manager Lisa Robinson said they’ve been booked since the end of KU’s win against North Carolina.

If you strike out at area restaurants, they’ll be about 16,000 seats over at Allen Fieldhouse, which will be showing the game free-of-charge. Doors to the fieldhouse open at 6 p.m.