Delaware bars change St. Patrick’s Day events amidst coronavirus fears
DEWEY BEACH, Del. – “The last 24 to 48 hours have been crazy, unusual, unchartered territory,” said Starboard Owner, Steve Montgomery.
In the words of local bar and restaurant owners in Delaware, the past couple of days have been a whirlwind as they debated whether to cancel major St. Patrick’s Day events this weekend, as fears of spreading coronavirus continues to rise.
“This has always been a really big weekend for us, obviously the energy is very different than it has been in the past,” said Crooked Hammock Brewery owner, Rich Garrahan.
For many, St. Patrick’s Day weekend marks the opening of the season for popular bars in resort towns like Dewey and Rehoboth Beach. A weekend that brings thousands of people to the area over a three day period.
“We’ve spent weeks and weeks preparing, upgrading, getting ready for the season. Obviously people know the starboard opening is a huge deal down here in Sussex County,” said Montgomery.
But in an effort to keep their communities safe, many bars and restaurants made the hard decision to cancel their holiday events and even change their operating hours as the state and the country continues to monitor the pandemic.
“We were contacted by the governor’s office, by the state board of health, and a lot of people, and they helped us get the right information to do the right thing, which was to cancel,” said Montgomery.
Montgomery tells 47ABC The Starboard will operate on their spring schedule and will be closing this St. Patrick’s Day weekend by 6 PM. As for other restaurants like the Crooked Hammock Garrahan says his establishment will continue to run as normal but will take extra precautions.
“We have a really big backyard and a lot of space for people to hopefully feel like they’re not on top of each other. We’ve re-organized the dining room, we’ve rearranged our barstools to add more space between people,” said Garrahan.
And while there are still some uncertainties, business owners say they’re just taking everything one day at a time.
“This too will pass, and we’ll have a great season, but right now it’s time to take the advice and let’s get this thing past us,” said Montgomery.