U.S. pubs deserted on St Patrick's Day amid coronavirus closures

Streets and bars across the United States were desolate on St. Patrick’s Day, after parades and parties celebrating the Irish heritage of many Americans were canceled and usually crowded Irish pubs were shuttered on Tuesday, as state governments enforced closures to control the spread of the coronavirus.

On the weekend before St. Patrick's Day, bars in the Washington, D.C.-area were already near empty. At The Dubliner, manager Misha Simon said it was a strange sight on what's normally the busiest and most profitable time of the year.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) MISHA SIMON, MANAGER OF 'THE DUBLINER' IRISH PUB, SAYING:

"We are like packed like sardines in here usually on a good St. Paddy's weekend, usually the whole weekend, especially on St. Patrick's Day, so it is definitely taking a toll on us."

On Monday, D.C.'s mayor ordered all restaurants, bars, and clubs to effectively close until April 1.

Pubs and bars in the United States normally count on St. Patrick’s Day and the March Madness college basketball tournament to bring in a large part of their annual revenue.

U.S. consumers had been forecast to spend some $6 billion on St. Patrick’s Day celebrations this year, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation conducted in early February, before the coronavirus pandemic gripped the United States.

Just one hit of many to the U.S. economy.