Saint Patrick’s Day could be busiest day of the year for Victoria pubs still recovering from pandemic


‘Twas the night before Saint Patrick’s Day and pubs like Moon Under Water in Victoria are getting in the spirit.

“We have our Shamrock Shake Shaft made with our own moon liqueur,” said Kristy Dominick, pub manager at Moon Under Water.

Green beer along with Irish-cuisine-inspired food specials are also on the menu as the brewpub prepares for what may be its biggest party in years.

“This has been that day because with restrictions lifted, this is our big event,” said Dominick.

Over in Downtown Victoria, Bard & Banker general manager Demian Merino says March 17 is a date he’ll never forget.

“For me, it’s a very emotional time,” said Merino, referring to March 17, 2020, when COVID-19 turned downtown into a ghost town.

“It was heartbreaking because we literally had to ask people to leave. We took care of every single person’s bill, we apologized profusely but we had to shut down for everybody’s safety. And I remember like it was yesterday.”

But with most COVID-19 restrictions eased across the province, Merino says it’s all systems go and expects the biggest party his pub has seen since 2019.

“Especially now that, you know, we can see people’s faces, we don’t have to wear the masks, you know, there are no seating restrictions, there’s no nothing. It’s going to be a fantastic party,” said Merino.

A few doors down, Irish Times general manager Connor MacNeil says the pub has a full slate of live music, Irish dancers and more than 30 kegs of Guiness.

“We’re expecting our busiest day of the year, maybe busiest day ever,” said MacNeil. “People are back, we’re excited, the enthusiasm’s there.”

MacNeil says he expects the pub to sell nearly 2,500 pints of Guiness alone.

Over at the Sticky Wickett pub, a manager tells CHEK News that business has reached pre-pandemic levels ever since last month’s easing of restrictions. Starting tomorrow they’ll be running their ‘Paddy’s Back’ event, an Irish-themed party for three straight nights to make up for the cancellation of Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations in 2020 and 2021.

Both Bard and Banker and Irish Times expect to be at full capacity by early afternoon.

Kevin CharachKevin Charach

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