ByPaola Tristan Arruda|March 17, 2021 at 8:58 PM EDT - Updated March 17 at 11:28 PM
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - One year ago, some bars and restaurants across the state were getting ready to shut down as COVID-19 restrictions began. Now businesses have prepared to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day the best way they can.
Co-owner of Tommy Condon’s Irish Pub, Allan Vandall, said the holiday is like Christmas for people in the food and beverage industry.
This time last year they were getting ready to close for a few months.
“It was very sad, they cut our throats last year and the feeling and vibe inside last year was very sad,” Vandall said. “The world came to an end the next day for 2 months and it just wasn’t the same energy as it is today, today people are actually celebrating.”
Many restrictions for bars and restaurants in the state have been lifted, but the city of Charleston still has a mask ordinance in place.
City officials said they increased enforcement from livability officers with support from the Charleston Police Department. Police officers doubled their manpower in the entertainment industry areas.
Keith Benjamin, owner of Uptown Social in downtown Charleston, said they have been able to celebrate the holiday while keeping the current restrictions in mind.
“When [patrons] come in and they’re not actively eating or drinking they should also be making sure that they’re keeping their mask on. But really at the end of the day we have our entertainment band that we have nightly and our DJ’s,” Benjamin said. " Uptown social has been very cognizant of what’s going on, and with that said we’ve given people the opportunity to make their own decisions.”
Vandall said his workers have also been mindful about masks. Employees have been handing out custom-made masks to people walking in.
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