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Cleveland Restaurants Prioritize Safety For St. Patrick's Day Celebrations

Restaurants and bars in Greater Cleveland are emphasizing safety ahead of Wednesday’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Not much will change for the holiday at Market Garden Brewery or its partner establishments, including Nano Brew, Bier Markt and Bar Cento, said co-owner Sam McNulty. The Ohio City restaurants have been outfitted with barriers and other social distancing measures for months, all of which will remain in place for St. Patrick's Day revelers.

“It’s our job to throw a party and serve food and craft beer, but do it in the safest way possible,” McNulty said. “So really nothing’s going to change, except there will be a lot more green in our wardrobe.”

The vaccine rollout is a good sign for the bar and restaurant industry, McNulty said, and management is encouraging customers to get vaccinated. A program launching Thursday will offer a discount to a limited number of patrons if they register online and bring in their CDC vaccination card, McNulty said.

“[It’s] kind of a thank you to the people of Cleveland for getting the vaccine and doing the right thing and making it through the last year, which was a rough year for everybody,” McNulty said.

But the pandemic will continue to impact revenue for local businesses. The combination of St. Patrick’s Day and March Madness typically bring in a lot of money for the dining industry locally, said Sauce the City owner Victor Searcy, Jr.

“Revenue is definitely going to be down from previous years of March Madness,” Searcy said. “The negative impact that COVID has had on this city is crazy.”

Searcy said his Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse outpost is still closed, cutting into revenues, and like many other local restaurants, he’s had to shift focus from dine-in to carryout while shouldering the cost of bringing in additional cleaning services and installing safety measures like barriers between tables.

The restaurant will continue to enforce coronavirus safety protocols for St. Patrick’s Day and through March Madness, Searcy said, with staff enforcing mask-wearing and doing what they can to keep customers safe.

“It’s basically just putting up signage and encouraging responsible behavior for customers,” he said.

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