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'Like Driving To A Funeral'; Oakland Pub's St. Patrick's Day Spoiled By Shelter-In-Place

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) -- For Crogan's Irish Pub in Oakland's Montclair, St. Patrick's Day is usually the biggest day of the year. But this year's holiday marked the end of the first day of a three week long shelter-in-place order for much of the Bay Area.

As the pub deals with the shelter-in-place like everyone else, they're trying to take it one day at a time to figure out how to navigate the next few weeks.

Normally, their dining room would be filled and bar packed, but on Tuesday night, owner Mike Williams said it was empty.

"It's just different than anything I've experienced," said Williams. He is only allowing a handful of people inside at a time to pick up take out orders.

"This day is Crogan's. We usually have a bag piper, people having fun and everyone think's it's just about the bar, but it's about the families that come in," says Williams.

The only people working were Tuesday night were Williams and one cook. They were serving up corned beef and cabbage.

"Isn't that gorgeous!" exclaimed Carole Evans. She said she's been coming to Crogan's on St. Patrick's Day every year since she moved to Montclair in 1971.

The shelter-in-place order is hitting other businesses hard as well. The ToyHouse is closed to customers, but is offering curbside order delivery. Some shops will be dark for weeks and others are closing early.

"Based purely off us not operating our normal hours, and everything like that, instead of working 8 hours, I'm only working four hours now," says Liam McKeeby who works at Peet's Coffee.

As some hourly workers struggle to make ends meet, parents are doing what they can to help their kids with school work.

"My 5th grader is self sustainable with his homework. He's doing it all himself, he's really great. My first grader needs instructions so that's new being a teacher, being a home schooler," said Renee Belder, who lives in Montclair.

They say it was a difficult first day and a lot of people are trying to adjust to what every day life will be like for the coming weeks.

"I'm going to be 80 in October and I've never ever, and I'm a native Californian, ever seen anything like this," said Carole Evans.

"It's a little crazy and it's a little stressful," said Renee Belden.

"I don't even know how to put it into words. I was driving in this morning and the only way I can describe it is I felt like I was driving to a funeral," said Williams.

The shelter-in-place order is set to end on April 7, but that could be extended if the counties' public health departments feel it's necessary to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

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