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Coronavirus-Related Shutdown Stymies St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

Also: Valencia Street’s Crepe House says bike lane plans spurred their closure, and more news to start your day

Even bars in places like Edinburgh were quiet Tuesday.
Photo by Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images

The more raucous side of St. Patrick’s Day was muted by the Bay Area’s shelter-in-place order.

Given its sizable Irish-identified population, Bay Area bars and restaurants with a Gaelic theme are typically packed on March 17. That wasn’t the case this year, as officials ordered all bars in the area to temporarily close their doors and told area residents that it’s illegal to congregate.

SF Gate reports that North Beach bar Maggie McGarry’s marked the occasion with a handwritten note affixed to the window. “Closed due to this s— virus,” it says. “Will see you on the other side.” The Financial District’s Harrington’s Bar and Grill was pithier, writing “Closed until governor lifts it” on a sign fixed to its padlocked door. And at the Richmond’s Abbey Tavern, a note read “We love you friends! Stay safe, until further notice we are closed. Take care of each other, take care of your neighbors, take care of your families. Slán for now.”

The holiday is typically one of the biggest business days of the year for local Irish bars, KPIX reports. But this year, Johnny Love Metheny, the owner of Union Street standby The Blue Light tells ABC 7, “It’s been so different than a normal St. Patrick’s day weekend and week and day it’s definitely surreal. It’s just like a sci-fi movie out there right now.”

And in other news...

  • Across the country, food banks are receiving an influx of donations from restaurants, catering companies, and dining facilities that have shut down during the coronavirus crisis. [Eater National]
  • Miss Ollie’s Caribbean Restaurant, a spot inside Oakland’s Swan’s Market is offering a sliding scale, pay as you can menu “until the food runs out.” [KPIX]
  • Forget about spending your shelter-in-place period bulking up at buffets and doubling down on eleven: Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak ordered all casinos, resorts, restaurants, and bars to close as of noon today. [Eater Las Vegas]
  • Valencia Street’s Crepe House is closing after a decade in business, stymied by rent hikes, business decreases, and the current dining room shutdown. Its owner says that fears of a nearby respite center for homeless people and plans for a protected bike lane on the busy street helped him decide to shutter the spot. [Mission Local]
  • Folks who are hoping to lobby officials to help the restaurant industry are emailing and calling their local representatives. [Eater National]
  • Bay Area food prep robot companies, many of which were struggling in recent months, might be bolstered by restaurant efforts to remain (human)contactless. [SF Business Times]
  • As delivery servies tout how they’re helping keep restaurants afloat, it might be worth it to look at the fine print of GrubHub’s well-publicized $100 million relief program. [Eater National]
  • Andytown Coffee Roasters is encouraging customers to purchase coffee and pastries to be delivered to healthcare professionals working at hospitals and senior care facilities. [Andytown/Instagram]
  • San Francisco nightlife venues, all of which have been temporarily shuttered, are hustling to raise funds to cover the bills (most of which are still due). [Hoodline]
  • To fight the pandemic, restaurants are shuttering across America with no aid in sight. What will happen to the rest of us? [Eater National]

Andytown Coffee Roasters - East Cut

181 Fremont St, 7th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105