Click photo to enlarge
Eddie Banda, of San Francisco, sells merchandise as San Francisco Giants' fans celebrate in Civic Center Plaza during the World Series parade in San Francisco, Calif. on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. The Giants swept the Detroit Tigers in four games to win the World Series for the second time in two years. (Jane Tyska/Staff)San Francisco Giants' fans celebrate in Civic Center Plaza during the World Series parade in San Francisco, Calif. on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. The Giants swept the Detroit Tigers in four games to win the World Series for the second time in two years. (Jane Tyska/Staff)

SAN FRANCISCO -- Throngs of workers took a break to watch the massive Giants victory parade Wednesday along Market Street and the celebrants kept cash registers ringing at local businesses.

Hungry and thirsty baseball fans -- many of them from nearby companies -- crammed into restaurants and bars along the parade route, taking the party inside with them.

Bluestem Brasserie, a sleek, stylish restaurant just south of Market, rented its street-side patio to business and government workers who paid for a front-row seat. Co-owner Adam Jed said he had another 100 people for lunch inside and 50 or so in the cocktail lounge.

"It was a different clientele," he said. "They were great people. There were definitely more cocktails than there are on a normal Wednesday afternoon."

By early afternoon, the street was littered with confetti and fans seemed intent on drinking and dining the rest of the day -- and night -- away, which neither Jed nor his servers much minded.

"People are in good spirits, and seem to be taking the day off," he said. "There are lots of people on the street and they're all wearing orange and black. I'm sure it will transition right into Halloween."

Mo Alhakim, owner of Mo's Cafe off Market at Fifth Street, said his business opens at 6 a.m., though most of his employees didn't make it to work until 6:30 a.m. because of BART delays. But it all worked out, he said. Business was booming throughout the day.


Advertisement

"It was crazy," he said with a smile, noting that after the parade, every seat in his cafe was full with nearly all the patrons sporting Giants gear. "I love it. It was beautiful. People were behaving."

Another merchant profiting from the parade was 21-year-old Junior Palmer, who said he traveled all the way from Memphis to sell orange-and-black T-shirts at the festivities.

"I did OK, I sold 26 shirts" by midafternoon, he said. "But I thought I'd sell more."

Setting up a table in a parking lot near the Civic Center, Palmer offered shirts for $10 and $15, but said some people balked at those prices. "They wanted the shirts for $5, which is ridiculous," since some other places were selling them for $40, he said.

Mohammed Ali, who owns a small market nearby, also benefitted from the celebration.

"The rally really did help us today," he said. "Our business was up 10 percent from what it normally is. We sold snacks and a lot of drinks and candy."

Some tech companies in San Francisco got into the spirit, too.

Gaming company Zynga hung a Giants banner from its headquarters near AT&T Park and Twitter on Market Street set up a large screen "for those who want to watch the parade," said spokeswoman Karen Wickre, adding that some employees strolled over to the Civic Center to enjoy the atmosphere.

And at Yelp on Mission Street, "we had a joint Halloween (costume encouraged)-S.F. Giants World Series celebratory pizza party in our 10th floor all-hands area, where the parade and City Hall ceremonies were shown on the big screen," said spokesman Vince Sollitto.

Yelp apparently has a keen interest in the Giants. Sollitto said the company held an off-site barbecue at AT&T Park this summer, "complete with clubhouse tours and batting cage practice."

With so many people using cellphones along the parade route, AT&T and Verizon officials said some callers ran into temporary delays trying to use their networks, even though both companies had added equipment in the area in anticipation of the crowds.

"We did experience network congestion," said AT&T spokesman John Britton. But he said the problem was unavoidable given the enormity of the event, adding "there was no network that we ever designed for usage like that."

Staff writers Heather Somerville, Pat May, Peter Delevett, Natalie Alund and George Avalos contributed to this report. Contact Steve Johnson at 408-920-5043. Follow him at Twitter.com/steveatmercnews.