3 Irish Bars in New Orleans to Close on St. Patrick’s Day

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Three bars that are usually hubs for St. Patrick’s Day activity in New Orleans won’t open for the holiday this year amid coronavirus concerns.

The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reports that two of the bars electing to stay closed on Thursday are in the Irish Channel neighborhood — Parasol’s and Tracey’s Original Irish Channel Bar. The other is Finn McCool’s, an Irish bar in the Mid-City area.

Owners told the newspaper that they decided to close without consulting city officials, who were critical last year of big block parties that took place in the Irish Channel as COVID-19 cases were rising.

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Finn McCool’s owner Sean Kennedy said his decision to close on Thursday follows problems posed by groups seeking to celebrate the approaching holiday during the past weekend. Kennedy says they refused to wear masks or abide by social distancing rules.

“Our staff works very hard to keep people safe, and our regulars are on board with it all, but this weekend, we had too many confrontations with other people coming in,” Kennedy said.

Parasol’s owner Mark Bruser said that, out of an abundance of caution, his bar stayed closed last Saturday, a day that would normally have brought St. Patrick’s Day parade crowds.

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“We didn’t want to be in a predicament where too many show up for us to serve safely,” he said.

Tracey’s was open Saturday but owner Jeff Carreras said patrons were encouraged to make table reservations or to take drinks to go.

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