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People in town for the Super Bowl need to eat ... and reservations are filling up fast

Some restaurants are balancing private parties, full reservations and accommodating walk-ins for the thousands of people expected downtown.

PHOENIX — Massive crowds will soon flock to the Valley and that means you could have a tougher time finding a place to eat. If you've looked at restaurant reservations the week of the Super Bowl, you already know that.

Restaurants in downtown Phoenix, near the Super Bowl Experience at Hance Park, have been preparing for the customer surge for months.

“Oh, goodness. Yeah, it's nerve-racking, I'm sure, for everybody," said Jeff Carlberg, owner of Il Bosco Pizza.

>> SBHQ: Check out the 12News Super Bowl guide

Carlberg's downtown location is typically busy, especially on weekends, but what he's expecting the week of the Super Bowl doesn't quite compare.

“What has the planning been like?” asked 12News.

“Just making sure that we have our core set on what we do and how we do it so that we're not going to fail when we just get barrage with a number of people," Carlberg said.

RELATED: You'll probably need a reservation to eat at these hotspots during Super Bowl week

Il Bosco Pizza's back patio and event space will become home to the NFL, which hosts private parties there Friday and Saturday night before the big game. That means scoring a reservation can be tough, but Carlberg said his plan is to limit reservations to leave plenty of room for walk-ins.

“You’ll have a chance to get in," Carlberg said.

A few blocks away, restaurant Wren and Wolf is getting ready, too.

“There's wonderful passion behind everything that we're doing," said Wren and Wolf General Manager Peter Hearn.

Wren and Wolf is fully booked with reservations Friday and Saturday before the Super Bowl.

On top of that? They are expecting private parties.

“We do have days blocked out for tentative buyouts," Hearn said.

While preparing for private parties and a full house, the owners are also putting the final touches on a brand new no-phones-allowed bar next door called The Trophy Room. It's set to open the week of the Super Bowl.

“We're blessed even to have this conversation that we're expecting so much," Hearn said.

Steve Chucri, president and CEO of the Arizona Restaurant Association, said to make your dinner plans now.

“It's called the Super Bowl for a reason," Chucri said. “My advice to all your viewers would be to make sure to get reservations whenever possible and do so early.”

Chucri said this is a good problem to have.

“For the restaurant community, it's a huge win, a huge shot in the arm, for us in a time when we need it," Chucri said.

After surviving the pandemic and balancing rising food and labor costs, the Valley's restaurants are ready for the incoming economic boost.

“I think it's going to be wonderful, and I hope that everybody embraces it," Hearn said.

“We've been looking forward to this," Carlberg said.

Super Bowl 

Get all the latest news and updates about what is happening around the Valley for Super Bowl LVII.

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