DENVER -- Staff at the Irish Snug start preparing for St. Patrick's Day three to four months out as it's the busiest day of the year. This year, however, the bar is empty.
Not because nobody wants to celebrate -- far from it -- but because restaurants and bars alike have been ordered to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, and the disease it causes, COVID-19, across the state.
Gov. Jared Polis ordered bars and restaurants to suspend dine-in services to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 this week for a period of 30 days. It's safe to say this St. Patrick's Day is unlike any other.
"Every year we wait all year for St. Patrick’s Day," said Whitney O'Neal, the general manager at the Irish Snug.
Even though the Irish Snug couldn't host its annual party, they were still open for carryout and delivery. The bar offered Irish classics like corned beef and cabbage for customers to enjoy at home.
"We’ve been here the last two years for St. Patty’s Day and it’s a great time, they really do it up well so it’s kind of depressing" said Mike Groome, a customer who was picking up a takeout order.
Groome said he planned to enjoy bangers and mash with some Guinness he had at home.
Customers said it was sad to see the bar empty on a day when it's usually standing room only. In fact, the Irish Snug is usually so busy that they set up a tent in the back parking lot. O'Neal said it's hard to celebrate knowing the impact being felt on everyone in the restaurant business.
“You know, we had to lay off a majority of our front of house staff yesterday," said O'Neal. "I think it negatively impacts a lot of other businesses other than the restaurant and bar industry."
While cozying up to the bar ins't an option, Denver Beer Co. is still selling 6-packs and crowlers of beer to-go.
"I’ve had several people come in and say that’s what they’re doing, they’re going to grab some beer and take it inside, or some of them said they’re going to go to a park somewhere," said Scott Beckman, Denver Beer Co. General Manager.