Currents Sand Dollars

Cape Cod Covidispatch – An Irish Pub Without St. Patrick’s Day

Rory Maguire
Written by Brian Tarcy

FALMOUTH – Normally, on St. Patrick’s Day at Liam Maguire’s Irish Pub, “it seems like three days in one,” said Rory Maguire, co-future owner of the Restaurant.

“It’s a long day and a great day,” he said. “The energy in here is just amazing.”

This year, just inside the restaurant, Rory’s brother, Shea Maguire, the other co-future owner, was serving takeout from a safe distance of six feet. The restaurant was started in 1994 by their parents, Liam and Debbie Maguire, the current owners.

For this story, Cape Cod Wave interviewed Rory. “My brother’s and my hands are getting wicked raw from cleaning around here so much,” he said. “We have new pens every time someone signs a credit card bill.”


Cape Cod Covi-dispatch

This is the new normal, a St. Patrick’s Day at an Irish Pub with all the Irish and none of the pub. The world is now takeout only.

People have been ordering takeout, he said. “We really appreciate everyone who did.”

But, said Maguire, “Our sales are at 5 percent of what we normally do on St. Patrick’s Day. If we can hit 10 percent, we’ll be jumping around.”

“Today, I would have had four bartenders, six waiters, four barbacks and four security/door guys in the front of the house. And we would have had eight people in the kitchen. Today, there are four of us total, including me and my brother,” said Maguire.

He said he is especially worried about his staff, who will be able to file unemployment. He said he already contacted his staff and encouraged them to file for it. But, Maguire said that he knows that, “unemployment is not enough money to live off of.”

St. Patrick’s Day, in the pre-pandemic world, “was definitely our biggest day of the year… it was the day that gets us through the year,” he said.

Each year, he said, a line would form at 10:30 a.m. to get into the pub. “Last year, we had 1,200 people coming through the doors,” he said.

“It’s a day you look forward to every year. All the music and people… we think if you didn’t have a good time, it’s your own fault.”

Rory Maguire

Rory Maguire in front of his family’s business, Liam Maguire’s Irish Pub.

For the staff also, he said, the day seems to last three or more days. Almost every year at the end of the night, he said, the staff will be telling stories and inevitably someone will tell a story about two days ago and will then be reminded, “No, that was this morning.”

As for what will happen going forward, and how the restaurant will deal with the situation, Maguire said, “It’s a different world. We’re not used to counter service in this area, but that’s the plan.

After this weekend, he said, the restaurant will be open for takeout from 12 to 8 on Wednesday to Sunday.

Asked how he plans to proceed if the health crisis continues into summer, Maguire said, “I have no idea, honestly. We have started to have the conversation of how to we try to pivot with this. None of this makes sense.”

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About the author

Brian Tarcy

Brian Tarcy is co-founder of Cape Cod Wave. He is a longtime journalist who has written for the Boston Globe, Boston magazine, the Cape Cod Times and several other publications. He is the author of "YOU CAN'T SELL RIGHT FIELD; A Cape Cod Novel." He is also the author or co-author of more than a dozen mostly non-fiction books, including books with celebrity athletes Cam Neely, Tom Glavine and Joe Theisman. His previous book was, "ALMOST: 12 Electric Months Chasing A Silicon Valley Dream" with Hap Klopp,who created the iconic brand, The North Face.
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Brian is a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan with a long-running NFL predictions/political satire column connecting weekly world events to the fate of his favorite team, now at

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