Stay in the Loop

Online Game Boosts Business, Brings North Loop Together

With several North Loop restaurants closed during the pandemic—and others doing just a fraction of their usual business through take-out and delivery—Megan Gaffney of MidNord Empanadas had an idea.

With the help of a friend, Angie Avestruz who’s an experienced TV personality, they quickly created a live play-at-home game that ended up drawing nearly a thousand players in its first try on April 4th.

They call it “Isolation BIZ-ingo,” very similar to bingo except the cards are free and the organizers aren’t making money off any wagers. In fact, they spent quite a bit of money finding the game equipment, printing out game cards and distributing them to participating businesses.

They streamed the game live from Angie’s basement while her fiancee helped and their dog, Boone, made cameo appearances. Megan was monitoring from home with her three young children while her husband took care of business at their restaurant inside Graze.

They wanted to create a moment for the community and remind everyone that several restaurants and taprooms are still operating. Nearly all the businesses who signed on to be part of the game were overwhelmed with business and ran out of the game cards early in the evening.

Megan and Angie are now using feedback they’ve received as they discuss whether to bring the game back in future weeks.

By Mike Binkley, North Loop Neighborhood Association

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