No St. Patrick's Day celebration at New York bars

Published: Mar. 17, 2020 at 6:16 PM EDT
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St. Patrick's Day is typically one of the busiest days on the calendar for bars but that's not the case this year. Our Kelly O'Brien found the streets empty-- and a little eerie-- in downtown Plattsburgh.

Those who have been to downtown Plattsburgh know bars and restaurants line the streets. The Lake City is known for its St. Patty's celebration. The streets are usually a sea of green but this year they were silent.

"I honestly didn't want to believe it was real," said Joshua Martin of Hobie's Sports Den. "I saw it in a bunch of other places but it's hard to believe you just woke up and don't have a job."

A sad day for the service industry as keg lines remain dry this St. Patrick's Day.

"I can just say if it wasn't going on there would be two-, three-hundred people in here," said Jim Guyette of Olive Ridley's.

"Big St. Paddy's Day celebrations around here that are like tradition, big, big traditions to miss," Martin said.

Hobie's Sports Den keeps the open sign lit but the bar stools are blocked off.

"New York state has been nice enough to bend with us a little we can sell bottled beer and bottled wine to go with meals now, so that gives us a little more livelihood," Martin said.

Peter Kritziotis, who owns Aleka's, used Tuesday to go through their inventory, offering to-go plates and bottles of wine and mead. But he worries about what the closure will mean for his 19 employees.

"As far as running a business, it's OK if we shut down, it's alright. But it's my employees I'm worried about more than anything else," Kritziotis said.

Next door at Olive Ridley's, the doors are closed until April 15.

"Absolutely this is necessary but doesn't mean this isn't incredibly sad," said Deb Nash of Olive Ridley's.

Those who work in the service industry are nervous about these next several weeks and life without a paycheck.

"Trying to figure out if I've got to look for unemployment or try and find a job for that little bit of amount of time," Martin said.

And those in the industry we spoke with say they'll miss their customers until it's time for the kegs to start flowing again.

If a bar were to stay open when it's not supposed to and a complaint came through the health department, they would investigate. The fines are handled on a case by case situation.

And it's not just bars shutting down. On Tuesday, the Clinton County Public Transit announced they will shut down their operation this Sunday.

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