CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -Normally Opening Day is an unofficial holiday in Cleveland, when fans pack bars and restaurants to celebrate the start of the season, but this year it’ll look much different around the Arena District.
Opening Day is usually a home run for the Thirsty Parrot.
“Normally we open the doors at 9 a.m., and it’s a Mardi Gras atmosphere. It’s just packed. Today we’re opening up at 3 p.m. But whatever level of excitement we can provide safely, that’s what we’re going to do,” said Hospitality Restaurants Partner Chris Kneeland.
They usually serve upwards of 1,000 people on normal Opening Days.
It will be scaled down today.
They’ve taken an offensive approach, reducing capacity from 500 to 200--physically distanced.
“We’re taking a very offensive approach to this whole thing, not a defensive approach. Not only, in some cases, are we doing what’s required, we’re doing more,” Kneeland said.
They’ll be taking temperatures at the door and requiring masks inside.
Fans will have to stay in their seats, and Cleveland Police Officers and in-house custodians of safety will be on hand to help maintain that order, reminding people to mask up and stay physically distant.
All staff went through a two hour re-education program.
The potential over flow will be asked to wait outside, 6 feet apart and enter from the ramp facing the ballpark. Customers will exit from the side entrance. They’ve also added portable bathrooms to reduce lines.
The Thirsty Parrot has been closed until today, but Kneeland said they wanted to keep the traditional alive.
“To be vital to down is very important to us. So we really want to encourage people to come down, and enjoy the ball park. We’re so close you can smell the crackerjack,” he said.
The bar and restaurant will be open through this home stand and the next, and they say they’ll continue to be open as long as the fans keep coming down.