Corktown restaurants will be open with extra precautions Sunday despite parade cancellation

Posted at 5:03 PM, Mar 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-12 18:23:40-04

(WXYZ) — With the cancellation of Monster Jam, the Zac Brown Band concert and especially the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, restaurants in Corktown are now scrambling after buying tens of thousands of dollars in food and beverage for this weekend.

This comes after already seeing a slowdown in sales this year now that the North American International Auto Show was moved to the summer.

Bob Roberts of McShane’s Irish Pub & Whiskey Bar said, “Boy, you know it’s been kind of a rough start to the year, but parade day is three weeks away, parade day is two weeks away, parade day is right around the corner.”

Now, the St. Patrick’s Day parade has been canceled. Bob is also the President of the Corktown Business Association. He says many restaurant owners have each purchased around $30,000 worth of food and beverage just for the holiday festivities.

“It may put a couple of people on the avenue out of business," he said.

Like other business owners, Matt Buskard of Bobcat Bonnie’s is trying to figure out what to do with the extra inventory.

“Cases of Jameson, cases of Guinness, stuff like that outside of St. Patrick’s Day the sales for that aren’t as high as what they are,” Matt said. “We can’t send that product back and at the same time we are not going to have the sales for that, which is very hard for a small business where every dollar matters.”

The food and beer have a limited shelf life.

“Green beer, nobody wants a green beer a week after St. Patrick’s Day," Buskard said.

Matt took to Facebook to explain they will be open but will be taking several extra precautions to keep people safe, like doing extra cleanings and having hand sanitizer on-hand.

“If you read the comments, people are like parade or no parade we are going to be there, so now our conversation is changed. How are we going to take the guests who are coming down, protect them, protect our staff and make sure everybody has a safe and fun healthy event.”

Shawn Mullin was going to participate in the now cancelled corktown races, but she will head to the bar instead.

“I hope to still come down and celebrate with everyone,” she explained. “Because it’s tradition and tradition is important.”

We also checked out Tin Roof, it’s opening Friday in the famous spot of the former Cheli’s Chili Bar.

General Manager Nicholas Habbert said, “Obviously, you know, it’s a bummer that there are a lot things being cancelled right now.”

Even though people are being advised to avoid large crowds, they are hoping to attract diners with their live music.

“More localized spots that aren’t those giant massive places where they would have to worry about potentially interacting with people that may have coronavirus.”

Restaurant owners are also hoping the St. Patrick’s Day parade will take place this year, even if it is months from now.