Many bars and restaurants count on Saint Patrick’s Day as a huge source of revenue, but COVID-19 has changed that for dining spots across Tulsa.
It wasn't a typical Saint Patrick’s Day at Kilkenny's Irish Pub. As Tulsa restaurants prepared to close at midnight, they urged customers to continue buying meals to support local businesses.
Natalie Epps was one of the last people to sit down for a meal at Kilkenny’s Tuesday.
“It’s our anniversary. It's Saint Patrick's Day. We had to come," she said.
The restaurant already limited the number of people allowed inside and spread tables apart to practice social distancing.
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“I’m proud of them for being responsible. It's kind of weird, we usually sit at the bar with lots of people," Epps said.
An executive order signed by Mayor G.T. Bynum requires all restaurants in Tulsa to stop dine-in service.
Bynum's order also ordered all bars to close.
"It's been difficult for everyone. We’re all in the same rowboat going upstream," said Executive Chef Trevor Tack.
Tack said the COVID-19 outbreak forced him to send employees home indefinitely, which he said is crushing for Tulsa's restaurant workers.
“Just like that, thousands of people were out of a job in Tulsa alone," Tack said.
His plea is for customers to continue ordering delivery or to-go food from their favorite local spots, with hopes next year’s Saint Patrick’s Day will be a different story.
“We need to keep people safe so we can have more Saint Patrick's Days to come and a pub to do them in," Tack said. "Make the call, come down here, get a couple meals. You don't know who you're saving that day."
Tack said his restaurant group wants to make sure none of their employees furloughed go hungry, and said he's working on a way to gather up food baskets for the coming weeks.