November 30, 2021

Bars and restaurants closed on St. Patrick’s Day

Photo by Casey Austin/contributing photographer

Main Street in Cortland is seen from the roof of the Cortland Standard. File Photo.

Bars and restaurants were closed to patrons as of 8 p.m. Monday, in accord with a decree issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo Monday morning. That ban will extend until further notice. Most immediately, that means no drinks with your friends at your local pub today on St. Patrick’s Day.

Angelo “Butch” Maniccia, founder and owner of The Red Dragon at 222 Tompkins, has never seen anything like this before, and he’s been in business for 50 years.

“Not even close,” Maniccia said.

While bars and restaurants are closed for sit-down customers, delivery and curbside orders will continue.

The closure of all New York bars on St. Patrick’s Day is certainly not welcome news at Irish pubs, such as Paddy’s Pub at 75 Owego Street. But co-owner Terri Piombo said she was trying to take the announcement in stride.

“Obviously, it’s sad for us,” Piombo said. “We’re just doing our best to do everything we can in a very tough environment.”

But Paddy’s, like other local bars and restaurants, will still be open for takeout.

“We’re just trying to keep our chins up and move forward,” she said.

The effect on employees will be minimal at Paddy’s, Piombo said, because the pub employs one full-time chef, who will continue working normally. Piombo and her husband, Tony, will also continue working normally. But all other staff, who are part-time, will likely not be needed while the bar is closed to patrons. Those part-time employees, however, all have full-time jobs elsewhere, Piombo said.

The closure’s effect on the employees of other local bars and restaurants is not yet clear.

David Feinstein, co-owner of Hollywood Restaurant at 27 Groton, said his employees will see a reduction in working hours, but he is reorganizing the schedule so all employees get their fair share.

He said his restaurant will rely on takeout sales until the closure is lifted.

“I think it’s a good thing that we’re all taking part in what everyone’s trying to do to stop the virus,” Feinstein said. “I don’t’ know how it’s going to affect us. But it is what it is. We’ll just wait to hear one day at a time. … We’ve just got to go with what the governor says right now … and hopefully things will be back to normal as soon as can be.”

Mike Spollen, owner of Central City Bar & Grill on Central Avenue in Cortland, said the closure was going have a big impact on his business.

“It’s going to affect us greatly — that’s a certainty,” said Spollen, who was trying to figure out how to adjust his staff’s schedule Monday afternoon.

“I’m working on it at this point,” he said.

Central City and next-door M&D Deli Central will continue to offer delivery and curbside takeout, he said.

Cortland City Police Chief F. Michael Catalano recommended that all local bar and restaurant owners abide by Cuomo’s announcement.

“We would expect and hope for compliance by all owners of these establishments,” Catalano said.

If businesses are found to be not complying with the closure, then city police will document the violations and forward the information to the appropriate state agency.

“I don’t expect us to go in gangbusters and start kicking people out of places,” he said, while asking for voluntary co-operation from business owners.