PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD)– During a press conference on Sunday, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that at the end of the business on Monday all bars and restaurants will transition to drive-thru, curbside pick-up orders, or delivery only.
Local bar owners say this ordinance to shut down takes a major chunk out of their business.
Kenny’s Westside Pub in downtown Peoria offers delivery service through ordertoeatPeoria.com. Now, owner, Sean Kenny says the bar is looking into curbside pick-up of food.
“We are going to do that the best that we can. I’m already back there working on what we’re going to do for curbside and social media presence we’ll have about that,” Kenny said.
Even with the delivery and curbside orders of food, Kenny says business will still be down.
“We’re definitely losing a lot of business over this, I have planned my whole year around the money we were going to make from last weekend to this weekend with St. Patrick’s Day in between, so we’ve been rolling with the punches so far, but this is just kind of another shot to the gut,” Kenny said.
Meanwhile, Kelleher’s Irish Pub and Eatery in the warehouse district of Peoria is also feeling the effects of Pritzker’s shutdown.
“I feel sorry for our employees, I mean they’re very, very worried about how they’re going to get their next paycheck and they haven’t said anything about that yet,” said Kelleher’s owner, Pat Sullivan said.
Sullivan believes the discretion to stay open or closed should be left up to the individual bars and owners.
“If things were handled differently regarding the one case in Woodford County; let us know where that guy has been–what gas stations, grocery stores, and that way if I’ve been in contact with him, I could be worried,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan also says Kelleher’s employees and patrons say the governor’s actions are a bit of an overreaction. and they should shut everything down if small businesses are forced to do so.
“If he’s going to shutdown us, little places; shut down the airports, shutdown everything–do it right, don’t just do it halfway. Shut it all down,” Sullivan said.
Since the closure doesn’t start until the end of business on Monday night, Sullivan says Kelleher’s and other bars are declaring Monday, St. Patrick’s Day since they will be forced to close on the actual holiday.
Restaurant owners in Bloomington-Normal are also planning for the next two weeks. Tobin’s Pizza gets most of its business through deliveries, but owner Moe Davis still is still facing a challenge.
“30% of our business is dine-in, so we’re losing that right out of the gate. Will deliveries pick up some as a result of other restaurants in town being closed, perhaps, but we still don’t know if that’s gonna offset the 30 percent we lost with dine-in,” said Davis.
The governor said the forced closure of bars and restaurants will last until Monday, March, 30 through business hours.