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Irish pubs in Connecticut prepare for the St. Patrick's Day rush

Owners hopeful to celebrate holiday after two years of struggles

COLCHESTER, Conn. — Covid numbers are dropping and the customer base is rising, according to Alex Levere the owner of The Inishmor, a popular Irish Pub in Colchester. 

Levere said, like most restaurant owners, the past two years have been a struggle for him but now, with Saint Patrick’s Day “season” upon us, there are signs of hope. 

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"Demand is through the roof and so far, we have been able to meet it and we’re just hoping demand increases exponentially next week,” said Levere

Levere, a chef who worked for four years learning the culinary secrets of Irish cooking in Ireland mentioned that his specialty corned beef and cabbage is ready to go for the week ahead. 

“I’d say somewhere between 13 hundred and 15 hundred pounds (of corned beef), in 2019 we did almost a ton,” said Levere. 

In Hartford, on Pratt Street, Johnny Vaughan, the owner of Vaughan’s Public House is already in Saint Patrick’s Day mode. Despite the fact that the Hartford Saint Patrick’s Day Parade was postponed for a week (from March 12th to March 19th) Vaughan said people just want to get out and enjoy the ambiance and energy of the holiday. 

"It’s the 50th anniversary of the parade and it’s been three years since we’ve been doing this and people are just dying to get out and meet their friends, be downtown," said Vaughan. "They want to march in the parade, you know it’s become a rite of passage.”

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The day of the Hartford Parade -- and the days leading up to it -- always result in a business boost for Vaughan’s, except for the past two years due to the pandemic. 

“I think it’s a day where a lot of people around here get to celebrate the heritage… it’s amazing to see everyone get together again that one time of the year,” said Vaughan

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“I’m looking forward to getting out and supporting them, they need it now more than ever and I’m excited for a great Saint Patrick’s Day,” said Scott Dolch, the president of the Connecticut Restaurant Association.  

Jimmy Altman is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at jaltman@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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