There are a lot of things to toast to on this St. Patrick’s Day for restaurant owners, as Los Angeles moves to the less-restrictive red tier, meaning indoor dining can open back up at 25% capacity.
RACHEL KIM: There are lots of things to toast to on this St. Patrick's Day. Willy O'Sullivan's Irish eyes are smiling because he's able to make some green under the red tier on the state's blueprint for a safer economy.
WILLY O'SULLIVAN: I thank God because of the cases going down and, you know, so far he's been very good to me. I'm still in business and I hope to be for a long time.
RACHEL KIM: Even with limited capacity, indoors and outdoors, even without bar service there were plenty of drinks flowing and hearty food coming at O'Brien's Irish Pub and Restaurant in Santa Monica.
- This meal right here is absolutely heaven.
RACHEL KIM: Customers were just happy to be back on St. Patty's Day.
CLAIRE CORDARY: We're here this year and we're so excited. This is my first restaurant experience in a year. And so it just feels like we're coming out of something and it feels really great.
TIMOTHY V. MURPHY I'm celebrating St. Patty's Day after a year of this pandemic. I'm so dying to have a drink and corned beef and cabbage with Willy here, you know? And my lovely wife.
RACHEL KIM: For a lot of these folks being out here is more than just about drinking green beer and eating great food. They're remembering those we've lost, celebrating how far we've come, and toasting to where we're headed.
DANIEL SCHNEIDER: My god brother passed the first week. During COVID there are people who can't get out and it's just nice that here we're celebrating.
LISA MUCCI: It's light at the end of the tunnel, right? With the vaccines and the red tier, but we still have to be, obviously, cognizant of like people that aren't able to get the vaccine yet or whatever. But I think it's a great step in the right direction.
WILLY O'SULLIVAN: Everybody go out and get vaccinated. As many people as possible and then we can end this thing and next year on St. Patrick's Day I can have people at the bar, we can have a full restaurant, and go back to living a normal life again.
RACHEL KIM: And that's something to toast to. Rachel Kim, KCAL 9 News.
- So festive but so safe, too. Well check out these women. They dressed up for the St. Patrick's Day celebration. At Hermosa Beach Pier Plaza today the Irish bar Patrick Malloys is pouring green beer, as well. And with restaurants now open for indoor service, the manager and customers were happy to be back.
- We got shut down right before last year, so we're very happy to be here this year.
- Every year we come out to celebrate but last year because of COVID we just couldn't, we got shut down. So this year is extra pizzazz and fabulous.
- Local law enforcement is reminding people who are celebrating to remember to do so responsibly.
- The state continues its road to recovery as more--