D.C. Pub Celebrates St. Patrick’s Day despite pandemic (includes video story)

An Irish pub in the D.C. neighborhood Dupont Circle showed Irish pride by hosting St. Patrick’s Day celebrations yesterday. This is the first year since the beginning of the pandemic that Across the Pond has been fully open and they are able to have a complete St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. 

Michael Waters opened the Irish pub back in June 2017 after spending many years as an accountant. 

“I was tired of the grind and I said let’s give it a shot,” Waters told SFMN. “Here it is five years later. It’s been very good.”

Of course, the pub suffered a rough patch during the COVID-19 shutdown. The quarantine began around St. Patrick’s Day weekend. There was no business for almost four months. They were unable to open again until July 22 and only at 25% capacity.  Business was slow once it reopened, but Waters gives credit to college students who came back in August for keeping them afloat. 

“They came out for football activities, college football, pro football and that kind of stuff,” said Waters. “They’re the ones that kind of kept us open during our rough patch there.”

To him, this year’s St. Patrick’s Day represents a day of fun, family camaraderie. The pandemic divided and isolated many people, and he did not see many friends or patrons for a year. 

“I think there is going to be a heavier turnout this year because the biggest difference is we have the bar open,” said Waters. “There was no bar seating until May 2021. We’ve lost a lot of regulars because a lot of people just don’t want to come out, especially if you’re a single person you don’t want to come to a bar and sit at a table by yourself. So people are very excited to have this bar counter back open.” 

Waters describes the Irish-American community in D.C. as strong and close-knit. He is excited to see normalcy return. 

“I’m looking forward to just seeing everybody have fun again,” said Waters, “people enjoying themselves and not looking over their shoulder worried about who’s standing next to them and whether they have a mask on. We haven’t had that for a long time.” 

Gabriela Enamorado is a junior at Florida International University majoring in journalism and minoring in History. She grew up in Fort Lauderdale and hopes to one day work for a magazine or newspaper.