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Bars, restaurants plan for safe St. Patrick's Day celebrations this weekend

Posted at 11:10 PM, Mar 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-12 23:12:56-05

TOWSON, Md. — Bars and restaurants in Towson saw good crowds on the first day of the Governor's executive order that lifted capacity restrictions across the state.

Baltimore County was one of the several counties to align with the state allowing businesses to operate at 100 percent capacity.

Jennifer Fideli with Nacho Mama's in Towson said they saw an uptick in business.

“It’s definitely busier than usual for our Friday night," Fideli said. “I think that the Governor lifting and making it 100 percent just made people more comfortable the end is near, and people are more comfortable coming outside.”

The Governor's decision to ease restrictions comes on the heels of St. Patrick's Day, which is expected to draw larger than normal crowds.

Last year, the Governor expressed his disappointment in restaurant owners and their customers for not following or enforcing the rules.

At the time, he said it was one of the reasons why he decided to shut businesses down.

Tomorrow, bars and restaurants in Towson are planning a bar stroll, offering drink special to attract more customers. But, they say they are prepared to fully enforce social distancing and mask wearing rules.

“It’s not a bar crawl. It’s not anything crazy busy," Fideli said. Lots of people packed into a bar, we still can’t have that. They still have to be seated.”

Ryan Appling, who is the general manager at C & R Pub, said he believe this year is going to be different and thinks people are more willing to follow the rules.

“We’ve had a year of this so everybody consumers staff members. Everybody understands what the expectation is," he said. "I feel that it was rough going into the beginning but now it's common knowledge.”

Keelinn Leatherman, who visited C & R Pub, said Towson businesses have done a great job at keeping people safe and she thinks this weekend will be much of the same.

“Everyone’s social distancing the best they can so even though everything is 100 percent capacity, I think it’s still going to stay the same and stay safe," she said

However, the Governor is urging caution and asking people to be smart this weekend.

If necessary, he said is willing to bring back restrictions.