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Local restaurants will profit from Phoenicians playing hooky for soccer

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This morning, June 26, 2014, Americans, who regularly skip breakfast, will be downing mimosas and scarfing down eggs benedict at sports bars around the world, as the USA faces Germany and [hopefully] advances in the World Cup. “It was crazy here on Sunday,” said Carolyn Vangelos, owner of Twin Peaks Restaurant in Phoenix, about the last match, which resulted in a disappointing, last-minute tie with Portugal. “Maybe it will be different since Thursday is a workday.” Probably not!

The USA-Portugal match was the highest-rated soccer match ever, with almost 25 million viewers on ESPN and Univision. Another 490,000 watched it streamed on mobile devices. Unlike other once-every-four-year American favorites, like ice skating, which families watch together in their living rooms, soccer is best enjoyed in incredibly noisy, crowded spaces with all of your closest friends, or at least friends for two hours.

This is a great boom for Phoenix businesses during a scorching, usually dead June.

Vangelos, and her husband Andy Bayless, grew up in the restaurant business. They moved to Arizona from Ohio eight years ago. After managing Buffalo Wild Wings and California Pizza Kitchen franchises, they purchased Twin Peaks on Camelback Road in February 2013. They employ 80-100 employees, mostly young women, who are students or working part-time.

With the economic recovery in Phoenix and rapid development of the Camelback/Biltmore area, Twin Peaks faces a lot of competition from other new restaurants. But Vangelos and Bayless feel Twin Peaks has many qualities that make it unique. There are two Happy Hours every day, that provide $2 off drafts and well drinks. All the food (even the sauces) are made from scratch every day at the restaurant, and the meat is never frozen. Customer service, as always, is the key. Businesswomen are comfortable enough to frequent the restaurant for lunch. The waitresses have no side duties. They are fun, attentive, and their sole assignment is to spend as much time with the customers as possible.

The Wall Street Journal published a funny article by Jason Gay giving advice on how to play hooky today to see today’s World Cup game. This morning, complete breakfasts, bloody marys and screwdrivers will probably be consumed by an overflow crowd watching the 70 screens at Twin Peaks: Phoenicians who devised their own excuses to skip work.