The 'Hamilton' Effect: Local Businesses Get a Bump in Profits

Courtesy of Joan Marcus
The cast of 'Hamilton'

Sales are up as much as 100 percent, tips are bigger, and even grown men are sobbing all thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda's hit Broadway musical.

This story first appeared in the April 22 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

1. Church of Scientology
227 W. 46th St.

"We love Hamilton — they're our neighbors, but we don't keep statistics on who comes in here. Maybe one or two people have said they just saw Hamilton. I don't know really. Hundreds of people come into the Church of Scientology every week to find out what we do. We don't ask them, 'How did you get in here?'" — Pamela Pilinsky, director, community affairs

2. Esca
402 W. 43rd St.

"Probably 60 percent of our business is pre-theater. I would say that of all the pre-theater business we do, 80 percent of people are going to see shows on any given evening, and maybe half of them are seeing Hamilton. I often get the impression that it's not so much about Hamilton as it is about it being a coveted ticket." — Patrick O'Sullivan, maitre d'

3. Bar Centrale
324 W. 46th St.

Not surprisingly, no one was talking at this chill, ultra-discreet speakeasy-style bar with no signage where, several sources told THR, the Hamilton cast likes to hang. Hint: Head up the stairs.

4. Joe Allen Restaurant
326 W. 46th St.

"This place is always popular, but our business may be close to double since Hamilton opened. Lin has been in here, and Ron Chernow, who wrote [the biography on which the musical is based], comes in all the time, as do the castmembers. One of them came in with Mitch Hurwitz, who did Arrested Development. They're very low-key. None of them act like they're anyone, which is the best thing about it. They don't rock to the midnight hours. I mean, it's past midnight, but they've got places to go." — Kevin Skinner, manager

5. Corso Coffee
235 W. 46th St.

"Jonathan Groff, who plays King George [until April 9], comes here. I know exactly what he likes: large Americano." — Marlon Elias, barista

6. Showbiz Parking
256-262 W. 46th St.

"There are more customers, and they're better tippers. It must be a great play. Even grown men, they cry. They say it's powerful. When Hamilton dies, it really gets to them." — Adriel Gonzalez, parking attendant

7. The Drama Book Shop
250 W. 40th St.

"Lin is a friend of the shop. He wrote In the Heights here and did workshops here. After the flood [from a burst pipe in February], we lost 30 percent of our inventory, and Lin started tweeting out for people to buy books here. We used to do five to 10 online orders a day. In our first day, we did 200 and were doing [as many as] 300 a day. We have never ordered more than 700 copies of a book in the history of the shop, which was for Harry Potter. We've got over 600 pre-orders of the Hamilton script [Hamilton: The Revolution, which hits bookstores April 12]. Lin specifically tweeted that if you're going to buy it, buy it from The Drama Book Shop. What's amazing is that the book is $25 on Amazon and $40 through us. People are canceling their Amazon orders and buying from us because Lin said to. He comes in and buys things, and our owner said he doesn't have to pay for anything ever again. His response was, well, he's in the money now so he can afford it." — Steven Carl McCasland, social media and events manager

8. Street Vendor
Corner W. 46th St. and Broadway

"Too many people come and see Hamilton. They make big lines and block everybody's businesses. I told a friend of mine, a security guy from the Marriott Marquis hotel [on Broadway between 45th and 46th streets], to go tell the guys at the theater to make the line go the opposite way so they can block everybody on Eighth Avenue. We get some good customers, though. They buy sunglasses and 'I Love New York' T-shirts. No complaints. I wish I could get tickets. How about a ticket, huh?" — Jose L.

9. Vynl Restaurant
756 9th Ave.

"People ask me if I've seen the show. Only a couple hundred times. I was in the show. I had to learn six different parts throughout the show for the dancers. I only went on for the character of Samuel Seabury. He's in an ensemble that sings with Lin-Manuel, who is wonderful. Not only did he give me my Broadway debut and a Broadway credit, he allowed me to be in a show that is pushing the limits of theater." — Brandon Hudson, waiter/Broadway performer

 

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