It should have been one of the busiest weekends of the year as New York’s bars celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but with the city’s parade cancelled and limits placed on the numbers of people allowed in bars and restaurants, people have been stocking up and staying in.
New Yorkers were switching dinners out for home cooking, and wondering what else they may soon have to forego amid the coronavirus pandemic.
It has led to eerily quiet scenes at some of the city’s Irish bars that would normally be teeming with life at this time of year.
Paddy Maguire’s Ale House in New York City was eerily quiet due to coronavirus fears
In the bars DailyMail.com visited, many had at most up to about 15 people
Although some people decided to dress up for the Irish holiday, most decided to stay at home during the national emergency
There won’t be any scenes like this in the streets of New York this year
It’s not uncommon to have people line up to get into New York’s Irish bars on St Paddy’s Day
The city would normally be awash with green, white and orange as Irish festivities kick off
One bar owner told how St. Patrick’s Day revenue was enough to equal three months’ worth of normal revenue.
Some bars are preparing for the worst by cutting staffers’ hours, canceling live music events and even shutting at least temporarily while business is so bad.
‘It’s like canceling Christmas on us,’ Patrick McNamee, who runs six Irish bars in the city, told Eater.
Jim Gallagher, a manager at Molly’s Shebeen, said that St. Patrick’s Day will now just be like a ‘normal day.’
‘It’s a big loss for the owners,’ he said.
Another bar, Joyface, in the East Village is preparing to close for a week, partly to stem losses.
Joyface, a popular lounge in Manhattan’s East Village, is closing down for at least a week
Irish bar’s are doing their best to attract drinkers
There was little to celebrate as the city recorded its first COVID-19 fatality, an 82-year-old woman, on Saturday amid a rapid climb in cases: 200 so far, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo, and more than 1,000 expected next week.
For those who had yet to join the national run on grocery stores, the sunny Saturday was a perfect chance to load up on food, toilet paper and disinfectant — if they could still find it after three days of widespread panic buying.
Larry Grossman, manager at a Manhattan supermarket whose 85 employees are working overtime, said he had never seen anything like it in 40 years.
‘I have been through Hurricane Sandy… through 9/11, I have never seen shopping like this,’ he said, as he restocked the store’s empty shelves.
Bartenders are worried that they will face a drop in tips as a result of the lack of business
Mr Shanx and Brian Prahl decided to dress up despite the rather lowkey feel to the weekend
PJ Leahy’s had less than 20 people on what would usually be one of the busiest weekends of the year
‘It’s like canceling Christmas on us,’ one bar owner said about the sudden downturn in trade
The holiday — and the week surrounding it — is typically the biggest moneymaker of the year for these businesses
McFadden’s bar was basically dead on Saturday with nobody sitting down to enjoy food
Nnenna Doyle and her husband Mark, two thirtysomethings who have been teleworking since Thursday, went shopping first thing for basics and ‘a lot of beer too.’
The Irish-born couple had been planning to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at a pub on Saturday evening.
But even though New York’s bars and restaurants remain open for now – unlike in harder-hit European cities – like many in the city they ultimately decided to shift the party to their home.
Of the 17 people they invited, nine declined, preferring to isolate themselves at home, Nnenna said.
One and One in New York’s East Village would normally be teeming with business
Some bars are now limiting hours and canceling live music, while staff worry about lost wages
Some Irish bars may be forced to lay off staff in order to stem the financial losses
She will try to ‘elbow tap’ to greet her guests, she says, even though she is naturally ‘a hugger.’
Patricia Jamele, 60, and her partner, James, took advantage of the sunny day to go for a stroll, but were of two minds on whether it was a good idea: ‘One of us is all for walking around places, and another one of us is all about avoiding,’ Jamele said.
Jamele works as a housekeeper and has no option of teleworking.
‘It’s very stressful because people don’t know what’s going to happen,’ she said. ‘It’s causing a lot of anxiety, and we don’t know whether it’s well placed or misplaced anxiety.’
At a farmer’s market at Union Square in Greenwich Village, business was brisk.
‘We have already sold out of a bunch of stuff that usually we’re taking home with us,’ said Paul, a livestock and poultry farmer from upstate New York, known in local foodie circles by his first name.
The parade, which has never been cancelled in its 258-year history, typically draws approximately 250,000 marchers and two million spectators, many of whom flock to the bars
New York City now joins Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Detroit on the list of major cities that have called off festivities in light of the spread of COVID-19
New Yorkers used the weekend to stock up on food and essentials as coronavirus spreads
Customers are scrambling to stock up on supplies, leaving empty shelves in many grocery stores, such as this organic supermarket in Manhattan, pictured on Friday
New Yorkers gathered food, toilet paper and disinfectant products at the city’s supermarkets
‘People are staying home and cooking,’ said the 50-year-old. ‘Obviously the open air market is probably the safest place to come out and buy food rather than going into a store.’
Though his farm is in a remote area, he said he has no fear about coming into town.
But he also believes that city authorities, who have so far kept public schools and the subway open, should shut everything down.
‘I deal with it in animals… When you get one sick one, if you don’t get it immediately isolated, that’s it, it spreads like wildfire.’
New York City postponed St. Patrick’s Day Parade for the first time in its 258-year history. The parade is pictured here in 2019
Earlier in the week New York City postponed its annual St Patrick’s Day parade over the coronavirus pandemic.
Cuomo said the decision was taken after a meeting with parade organizers.
‘One of the most effective ways to contain the spread of the virus is to limit large gatherings and close contacts, and I applaud the parade’s leadership for working cooperatively with us,’ Cuomo said in a statement.
New York’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is the largest in the United States and typically attracts two million spectators.
The event has been held annually for more than 250 years and Wednesday’s announcement marked the first time it would not be held as scheduled, the New York Times reported.
Officials said the parade would be held at a later date.
‘I know this decision didn’t come easy, so I’ll make this promise: this is a postponement, not a cancellation,’ said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Boston’s mayor on Monday announced the cancellation of his city’s St Patrick’s Day parade, which was expected to attract around 1 million attendees.