CLEVELAND — St. Patrick’s Day will certainly look and sound a bit different this year without the customary parade of bagpipes, but bars and restaurants in Cleveland are hoping that doesn’t mean a lack of customers.
“We are really ready to get back at it,“says Allison Pryce, the general manager of brewpub operations at Great Lakes Brewing Company. “It won’t be like our tradition St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, but it still will be a good time.”
The brewpub at Great Lakes Brewery has been closed since January, as they waited for winter and the pandemic to show signs of slowing. That sign, as it turns out, has appeared for many Cleveland businesses. Bier Market, Market Garden, Winking Lizard and others have all just reopened this week.
“We just opened back up, so for us it’s a huge event,” says Adam Wilson, general manager of the downtown Winking Lizard. “With everything kind of lightening up again or everything kind of opening back up again, I think people will be eager to get out and have a good time on St. Patty’s Day.”
Cleveland events are starting to plan dates as well. The marathon has pushed their May event staple back to the fall and the Cleveland Clinic’s Velosano is coming back from last year’s virtual ride, hoping to welcome in person bikers this September.
Nicole Peters, the executive director of Velosano, says, “You know the general ride weekend is always emotional. I think to have everyone back together again this year and starting out on these rides. Just even thinking about it now, I have tears in my eyes just thinking about what it’s going to mean to everybody come September.”
They’re all signs that life in downtown Cleveland may be starting to slowly, but surely, re-emerge.
Wilson says, “Just to get the store back open was kind of like bringing the family back together.”
“It’s feeling more and more like we might have close a normal summer,” says Pryce. “It can’t come soon enough.”
Editor's Note: The below video aired on January 14, 2021