Canceled St. Patrick’s Day creates hardship for local businesses

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Due to statewide restrictions on the number of people who can gather in one spot, St. Patrick’s Day parades, parties and pub crawls were not held this year. But this meant that many businesses that relied on this influx of orders or customers are taking a financial hit.

Restaurants around New Jersey can stay open until 6 p.m. – but they must only offer delivery of takeout.

The staff at Cracked Olive in Holmdel still celebrated St. Patrick’s Day this year – despite a lack of customers. There was Irish music, a man dressed in green and lots of corned beef and cabbage. But owner Dan Duffy says that it doesn’t really feel like St. Patrick’s Day.

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“Not even a little it. This is people forgetting it’s St. Patrick’s Day. The whole world is being turned upside down,” he says.

Duffy says that he has about 300 pounds of corned beef that he shouldn’t still have.

Your 2020 St. Patrick's Day photos

“The majority of our orders have been canceled due to the virus,” he says. “Parties are canceled, corporate functions, parades, canceled.”

Duffy says that he lost about 90% of his business. But he says that fortunately, calls are coming in for individual dinners.

“We are still taking orders. We are doing home delivery. We are doing curbside pickups. We will donate a lot of this,” he says.

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Cracked Olive usually makes a 3-foot long green sub for St. Patrick’s Day. It is one-half Italian, one-half chicken and mozzarella. Last year, 50 were sold – this year, only two.

But Duffy says that his loyal customers haven’t forgotten about him. He says that instead of the grocery store, some people are stocking up at the Cracked Olive.

“It’s the only St. Paddy’s Day party I’ve found today,” said one customer.

All 10 of Duffy’s employees worked on St. Patrick’s Day. But he says that he may have to cut hours as the business slows down.

“My guys are still working. Everybody has bills to pay and mortgages and rents,” Duffy says.

Duffy says he will keep the business going as long as he can.

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