Local Irish pubs prep for Saint Patrick’s Day after one year hiatus

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) —Restaurants and pubs preparing for Saint Patrick’s Day, after not being able to experience the traditional holiday rush last year.

Forced to stop their sit-down services at 5pm on Saint Patrick’s Day last year, this year many pubs are hoping to welcome a sea of people sporting green to their establishments.

“We can not be more happy and pleased that we are able to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, after having one year of a hiatus from that, but here at The Harp, we’re going to celebrate it with a traditional Irish fair,” said Doc Thomas, general manager of The Harp.

“We’re looking forward to actually getting to spend time with our friends and family that we didn’t get to spend time with last year. Last year was going to be our last Patty’s, and now we’re looking at spending our 20th anniversary open,” said  Rob Potts, manager of The Dubliner.

Both pubs say they are prepared for the Saint Patrick’s Day rush of patrons, planning to follow the CDC’s guidelines, utilizing hand sanitizer stations, and indoor and outdoor seating to maximize social distancing.

“We’re expecting upward of 200 to 250 people. We are definitely ready, we’ve ordered 12 kegs of Guinness, we’ve got countless bottles of Jameson and every other Whiskey,” said Potts. “We’ve taken precautionary steps to ensure their safety, and still make sure that they have a good time and I’m excited to see them come out and enjoy all of the outdoor amenities we’ve added since then.”

“You can feel very comfortable and safe bringing your family out here. The most important thing is we’re trying to get people out in the community, give them something to celebrate. This is first, I guess, holiday that we’ve at least been able to get around, and move around a little bit in the community, and Wilmington needs something to look forward to,” said Thomas.

Thanks to the recent easing of restrictions, bars are allowed to operate at 30% capacity, with no more than 250 people.

Alcohol sales have been extended until 11 p.m.

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