Indianapolis Super Bowl and Super Bowl and Alcohol sales and Bars/Taverns and Restaurants and Retail and Transportation, Distribution & Logistics and Distribution & Logistics

Distribution plan keeps provisions plentiful despite crowds

February 3, 2012

Downtown's Super Bowl revelry still is going strong thanks in large part to a distribution strategy that includes extra routes, earlier deliveries and an ample supply of food and booze to replenish local establishments.

Indianapolis-based Monarch Beverage projected it would need an additional 50,000 cases of beer above normal demand for downtown based on prior Super Bowls. But the company ordered 150,000, just to be safe.

No one wants a repeat of the Crossroads Classic college basketball doubleheader weekend, when beer taps dried up at several downtown watering holes.

"We will not run out of beer," Monarch spokeswoman Amanda Uhles wrote in an e-mail.

The beer-and-wine distributor also added a third shift to its delivery rotation, giving bars an additional restocking option between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. Drivers have the added challenge of transporting their special deliveries several blocks in some cases based on road closures, but they have risen to the occasion.

"So far we are very happy with the business the Super Bowl has brought to our company as well as Indianapolis," Uhles said. "Indy is pulling out all the stops with this event."

Piazza Produce Inc. also is running extra and earlier Super Bowl routes to keep up with demand that's about 25 percent greater than usual, said Marcus Agresta, the local company's general manager. (IBJ rides along on a 3 a.m. delivery in the video below.)

Employees met with customers early on to ensure it would have enough produce on hand including lemons and limes, which are in particularly high demand, Agresta said.

They're also able to fill special rush orders: St. Elmo Steak House decided this week to serve a special warm apple cider cocktail with spiced rum, cinnamon and whipped cream from a tent next door to the restaurant. It was such a hit that supplies ran dangerously low. Piazza had a cider-loaded truck on the way within an hour.

The city's decision to tighten up the hours when deliveries are allowed downtown, generally between midnight and 9 a.m., helped work out some of the kinks before big crowds descended on downtown.

"It's been surprisingly smooth," Agresta said.

Plenty of food and drink is good news for Paul Murzyn, an owner of Kilroy's at Georgia and Meridian streets.

Revenue for the week is 10 percent ahead of the business' most optimistic expectations, thanks in part to the huge crowds that have turned out for the nearby Super Bowl Village and NFL Experience.

"Business is great," he said. "We're getting everything we need."

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