Businesses near Red Sox parade route get boost

It was all about the whiskers for businesses along the Red Sox parade route Saturday. Even on tony Newbury Street, fashionably attired mannequins struck a pose in shop windows wearing faux ’staches.

Elsewhere, shops stocked up on costume beards, and many youngsters opted to buy the fake facial hair from street vendors instead of pennants and horns.

Shops and restaurants along the route bustled with anticipation Saturday as they opened their doors early and stocked up on merchandise, hoping the big party would add up to a sales boost.


At New Millennium Costumes on Tremont Street, beards were so popular this fall that the store sometimes ran out of pirate beards, and customers were forced to settle for snow-white Santa and Merlin hair instead, said co-owner Terry Anderson.

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When Anderson opened his store at 9 a.m. Saturday, he thought he was prepared.

After the Sox clinched the Series on Wednesday, Anderson went on a hunt for beards. Many players sprouted facial hair this season, and the beards came to symbolize the team’s improbable journey from last place last year to champions this year. Problem was, tracking down pirate beards after the Halloween rush was almost as difficult as finding Yankees fans at the parade.

After striking out on the East Coast, Anderson found a supplier in Utah that could ship the pirate beards overnight.

“We’ll see what happens and enjoy the parade from here,” Anderson said. The store hadn’t opened for past sports championship parades, but “some of the other merchants said it could get crazy.”


Down the street at the Thinking Cup coffee shop, an additional pastry chef was on duty churning out scones, croissants, and rolls, and more cashiers were brought in to handle lines of customers that at one point snaked out the door.

“We may see a bump up of 5 to 10 percent,” said owner Hugh Geiger.

Several merchants said they based staffing decisions on their experience with the 2011 parade celebrating the Boston Bruins’ Stanley Cup win.

Even stores a few blocks from the parade route hoped that spillover crowds would boost sales.

E.B. Horn Jewelers in Downtown Crossing was quiet during the parade. But after the duck boats moved on, people wandered in to browse. There were “a lot of sports fans,” said Michael Finn, a store manager.


But for some businesses, the buzz of victory didn’t translate into a home run in sales.

A downtown fruit vendor said the parade kept some of the locals away in the morning. Instead, most of the sales were “onesies and twosies,” as people bought a banana or two apples to snack on after the festivities.

But Henry Herrera, owner of Herrera’s Mexican Grill on Temple Place, said even if sales don’t break records, the festive atmosphere around Boston was hard to resist.

Herrera’s is usually closed on Saturdays, but he decided to take advantage of the crowds with a sidewalk business. He brought his grill to the building doorway and sizzled up hot dogs and sausages.

“It’s a little bit of business,” said Herrera, sporting a Red Sox shirt under his apron.

By the end of the parade, Anderson had sold half his stock of beards.

“It’s not bad for this early in the morning,” he said.

Deirdre Fernandes can be reached at eirdre.fernandes@