Molly's Shebeen opened its doors Wednesday for the first time since January 5.
"Everybody's excited," said bartender Jason Carty. "I feel like I'm starting a brand new job."
The traditional Irish Pub had to close for the second time during the pandemic shortly after Governor Anrew Cuomo eliminated indoor dining in the city for the second time in December. With the drop in temperature and no one wanting to dine in the outdoor inclosure, the owner said he was losing too much money keeping the place open.
"I think it probably saved the business closing, cause otherwise it might have gone under," said bartender Gary McGonigle.
The staff is gearing up for the bar's biggest day of any normal year, St. Patrick's Day next week. Typically, many in the service industry look forward to the money, but dread the hard work associated with the crowds of revelers. This year there's nothing but excitement for the bartenders here.
"The only way is up right now," said Carty.
Governor Cuomo announced the state would allow bars and restaurants to increase indoor capacity from 35% to 50% on March 19, two days after St. Patrick's Day. The owner of Molly's Shebeen says he'd rather the increase come on St. Patrick's Day because that would mean more needed revenue, but he understands and supports the governor's decision for the greater good.
"It's an improvement," said owner Peter O'Connell. "It's another incremental bonus. At least it puts a bit of atmosphere. Thirty-five [percent] was only picking up straws, 50 [percent] is healthy in conjunction with the outdoor cafe."