‘Huge for business:’ Bar next to Waco Airport prepares for large Trump rally turnout

Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 8:42 AM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Owners of a bar less about a mile away from Waco Regional Airport are unsure what to expect for business Saturday ahead of former President Donald Trump’s campaign rally, but they are hoping the expected large crowd will help their small business.

Lakeside Bar owner, Buck Alambar, said an event of this magnitude is rare for their part of town, so they are preparing for anything and anybody.

“This is the kind of thing that doesn’t happen in a lot of places very often,” he said. “It sure doesn’t happen in Waco very often and the airport being less than a mile away from us, so this could be huge for our business.”

Alambar said he is expecting to see numerous cars pass by the bar on Airport Rd. on the way to the rally, but he’s concerned the construction in front of the business may deter attendees from circling back to the bar after the rally.

Ongoing construction on Airport Rd. causes traffic to flow one-way northbound toward the airport. Therefore, Alambar said, if anyone heads to the bar from the airport, they have to take a five-mile detour to get to the bar.

“It’s not easy accessible leaving the airport,” Alambar said. “You have to go all the way around to come back here. Not sure how that’s going to play out.”

While he said he is grateful to the city for redoing the road, Alambar said this opportunity for the business is rare, and he hopes for a good turnout that may help the small business.

“This could be huge for our business,” he said. “We hope for that because...business has been down with the construction, so we hope that this is a big day. We do hope, numbers wise, it’s a big day for us just to kind of help offset some of that.”

Regardless, Alambar said they will be open during regular hours and ready to serve customers.

“We hope people stop by, coming and going to the event,” he said. “I think it’s a great thing for Waco, Texas, for this many people to be coming into town, for the businesses locally. We’re super excited for everybody that gets to benefit from this.”

He said, when deciding on if the bar should do anything special on Saturday, they chose to be open as normal.

“We are a small business in Waco, and we have customers, clients, friends that come in here that they either support or they don’t support,” he said. “We don’t believe, as a business, it’s smart for us not to pick sides in something like this. We welcome everyone.”