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'We're getting there' | Navy Yard businesses adjust after Nats home-opening postponement

Many bars and restaurants in D.C.'s Navy Yard neighborhood have waited more than a year to play host to Nats fans during a home game.

WASHINGTON — After a year without baseball, Navy Yard bars and restaurants hoped Opening Day would give them a boost in business. 

Ultimately, it did not.

The Washington Nationals informed the region’s fans around noon the team would have to postpone its Opening Day game against the New York Mets due to positive COVID-19 cases on the team.

The news disappointed local businesses, like Hatoba, a ramen restaurant in Yards Park. It opened its door five hours earlier than normal to cater to fans who planned to go to the game.

“Had a full staff ready to go,” Hatoba Chef Kristian Felix said.

Instead, Hatoba had to quickly reshuffle its staffing schedule.

“We thought, let's open for lunch [and] try to get the crowd in here,” Felix said. “But things kind of didn't happen.”

Hatoba opened around the time of the World Series in 2019. Felix said it got to cater to a few Nats fans around that time.

But Atlas Brew Works’ new location on Half Street SE has never played host to customers during a Nationals home game. Atlas Founder Justin Cox said the location has only been open since March 2020. He called the game’s postponement disappointing.

"It was shattering, of course,” Cox said. “We had been through so much over the course of the entire pandemic with us and our staff and we were so looking forward to today as a signal of things opening up and getting back to somewhat normal.

Instead, Cox called Thursday another hiccup in a year of hiccups.

“We're gonna probably end up with some food that goes to waste,” he said. “But, I mean, the important thing is, we're getting there.”

The Nationals Team Store still appeared to be doing business Thursday despite the game’s postponement.

Nats fan Mike Nebrich picked ups some new gear at the store. He said he cannot wait until the team plays its first game at home.

“We were really hoping for some baseball, but we’ll just have to move forward and wait,” Nebrich said.

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