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Restaurants cope with a St. Patrick's Day without crowds

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ELM GROVE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- At O'Donoghue's Irish Pub in Elm Grove, the St. Patrick's Day celebration was missing its regular sites and sounds. 

"Irish music, dancers, bag pipers," said owner Jamie O'Donoghue. 

With capacity at fifty people, business was down fifty percent. 

"It’s impacted us financially and it’s also got people worried, not knowing what they’re going to do in the next couple weeks, how they’re going to do financially and where they’re going to get their money from," he said. 

The St. Patrick's Day celebration ended at 5 p.m. because of an order from Governor Tony Evers closing all bars and restaurants. 

"I believe it’s a nice thing to actually know now and I think we’re going to get to where we should be and get through this period and do some social distancing and hopefully in a couple weeks we can all get back out together," said O'Donoghue. 

Jackson's Blue Ribbon Pub was empty St. Patrick's Day. 

"A little difficult but there’s a lot more important things than making money at this point," said Owner Dan Zerith. 

Zerith said he made the decision to close his four restaurants Monday. 

"We have about 150 to 175 employees and it’s a little stressful at this time, but I know we’ll get through it," said Zerith. 

An uncertain time, but at O'Donoghue's, they hope some things are certain. 

"We’re going to get the country healthy, and the world healthy and then we’re going to come back and have a lot of fun," said O'Donoghue. 

Many bars and restaurants are still offering take-out and delivery. 


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