32 Days: Super Bowl Profile -- Il Villaggio

January, 1, 2014
Jan 1
Each day from now until Feb. 2, ESPNNewYork.com will take you inside the challenge of staging the most unpredictable NFL title game ever. There are 32 days until the Super Bowl.

With heavy security and freezing weather likely to limit access by fans, will the big game help or hurt the businesses surrounding MetLife Stadium? We asked some of them to tell us what they think.

Name: Il Villaggio

Address: 651 Route 17 N, Carlstadt, NJ, 07072

Distance to MetLife Stadium: 3.1 miles

Q. Will the Super Bowl help or hurt business?

John Yessis, general manager: "Absolutely help business. We're a stone's throw from the stadium and all the accompanying events and so on that are associated with it. We're a fine-dining restaurant. I know football is generally considered a blue-collar sport, but the past couple of years it's a far more reaching event now, not just the Super Bowl itself but football in general is appealing to the masses in a much greater sense than it used to. This is a great spot."

This is a restaurant, not a place to watch a game though, right?

"No one thinks to watch the game here. We don't have TV's in the restaurant, people aren't used to that, but they would probably consider it for the week of things they would be doing. That's where we think we are going to see business. Generally in this area from what I understand, or any Super Bowl, if you're there to stay it's a four-night obligation with any hotel. You're going to be here to sightsee, you're going to be here to go out to dinner, you're not going to be here to cook. Generally if you have that kind of money you're eating at places like this or greater for all I know."

Do you expect the Super Bowl to bring in a different clientele for you than for other establishments in the area?

"Day of [the game], we're probably going to look at very little. Week of, and week prior possibly even further, is what we're looking at. We should see executives here, agents, players, etc."

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Have people started booking the facility?

"Just general inquiries [for] the week of. A lot of general inquiries. I guess they're scouting out if they're going to be here. I can only speculate. I have no idea what they're doing. We've never hosted the Super Bowl before."

Do you have to start preparing for it in case someone wants to do a big event?

"We are prepared to do events 365 days a year. We're both a restaurant and a catering hall. We have the staff to do 300 people. I could do one tomorrow if I have to. We don't have to undergo any special training or preparation. We're ready if something is going to fall into our laps now that a certain time is involved or a certain group is coming. A lot of them don't find out until later on. We have corporate people contacting us preliminary-wise about events they're looking to host, but I'm sure they have the opportunity to move laterally on a lot of that. They change all the time. It's 150 people, it's now 45 people, so they must have some sort of way they're divvying it up among their clientele."

How does your location help?

"[Normally] you can walk from here. And I know that because I sometimes see people do that to the Giants game. They'll attempt to park in other people's lots -- ours is a valet lot seven days a week-- it doesn't happen to us. But when I'm driving I'll see people trying to hide their car on the other side of the highway and they walk to the game with their jersey on. It's close."

Come back daily for more on the issues, logistics and personalities surrounding Super Bowl XLVIII.

Matt Ehalt

ESPN New York contributor



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