CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio (WOIO) - Nighttown has served Irish beer and corned beef on Cedar Road since 1966 but, this year will be different.
“It breaks my heart but I can’t do it,” said owner Brendan Ring. “How can I in all consciousness open on St. Patrick’s Day, pack 500 people in here, all on top of each other, and live with the consequences. I’m just not going to do it.”
Nighttown will close Sunday night until May 10 and Ring predicts other bars and restaurants will soon follow his lead.
“I can’t image you can stay open in the middle of this,” Ring said.
Ring cooked 250 pounds of corned beef in preparation for Tuesday but, now, he’ll give it to staff and the food bank.
And for 55 employees who now have to go on unemployment, it was difficult.
“People are very upset. There were some tears,” said Ring. “Of course I want to stay open, it’s our biggest day of the year. But I’m not going to be a hypocrite my whole life and I’m not going to start now.”
Ring said since he made the decision Thursday, he’s gotten positive feedback from his staff and the community, He said another bar owner has already called him about plans to shut down as well.