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St. Patrick's Day in Tucson, one year into the COVID-19 pandemic

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Posted at 6:16 PM, Mar 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 21:23:29-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Food, beer and customers.

Last St. Patrick’s Day started out the same way at Frog and Firkin, but it didn’t end that way.

“It was 8 p.m., one of those things you never forget,” said General Manager Jonathan Graham. “The call came down and we had to shut down, and we shut down that night.”

St. Patrick’s Day marks one year since the Tucson mayor declared a local emergency closing dine-in areas, bars and gyms. The Governor followed with a state-wide order just a couple of days later. Graham says everything went to takeout and delivery after that.

“We were doing whatever it took to survive, I was driving out deliveries to Oro Valley, out to Houghton, it didn’t matter, we were here and were going to keep it going as long as we could,” Graham said.

This St. Patrick’s Day not only are restaurants allowed open, but occupancy restrictions have been lifted. Social distancing and masks are still required.

“We do this every year all except for last year, because last year it got canceled. Everything got canceled last year.” said customer Bob Zundel.

While some may worry things are opening up too fast, many people we talked to said they were celebrating the nation turning a corner on the pandemic.

“Rates are down because people are getting vaccinated and everything, I think it’s fine,” said customer Chloe Vettorino.

Graham says he’s hoping we’ve made it closer to a new normal that allows for some fun on St. Patrick’s day.

“We’ll take the lessons we learned and we are going to be better for it. We came out stronger on the other side, I think,” said Graham.