JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – An Irish pub in Jacksonville is preparing for St. Patrick’s Day and expects a good crowd as people continue to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
Tents were already setup Tuesday evening at Culhane’s Irish Pub on the Southside well ahead of the celebration.
“We’re from Ireland originally. We grew up with the parades in Ireland, and we love the Irish spirit, the hospitality. It’s what we are all about, getting together with family and friends and having a pint and celebrating St. Patrick’s Day,” said Mary Jane Culhane, co-owner of the Irish pub.
A year ago, most events were canceled due to the pandemic. That includes the annual event at Culhane’s, so the owners are excited to see people back again.
“We had to tear down the tents the morning of. It was heartbreaking, even though we were able to do 50 percent,” Culhane said. “All to-go food last year, and we had to reinvent ourselves how to do that. It was a very stressful day.”
Culhane said in addition to the event being back in 2021, precautions will still be in place. Tables inside the restaurant are spaced out roughly six feet apart. There will be stations for people to wash their hands in the parking lot. The restaurant will be operating at 100% capacity.
“I haven’t seen my regulars in the last year. So they’ve all been telling me: I’ve got my second vaccination, I’m coming out. I’m like, brilliant! It’s exciting because now we have a new life again,” Culahane said.
Culhane says getting to serve green beer this St. Patrick’s Day is a turning point for things starting to get back to normal.
The restaurant is encouraging people to wear masks when they are not eating or drinking.