Closing time: A muted last hurrah for bars and restaurants on a normally busy St. Patrick's Day

Wild fans celebrate St. Patrick's Day in muted fashion on closing day for Minnesota bars and restaurants. (FOX 9)

Bars and restaurants ceased dine-in service at 5 p.m. Tuesday due to the Governor’s orders, making for a surreal day for many employees and managers at Twin Cities establishments.

It was even stranger because it was the first March 17 in over a century that St. Paul did not have a St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Usually, bars are packed on March 17, but at establishments like McGovern’s, their biggest day of the year is now quiet.

Bar owners had to close at 5 p.m. and patrons had to adjust their evening, or in some cases weekend plans.

“St. Patty’s Day parade, then we’re going to the Wild game, then we’re going to fly out to Chicago, then Thursday see the Wild play the Blackhawks in Chicago, then fly back Friday,” said John Cook, of Minneapolis. “All of it’s gone.”

Instead, Tuesday became a muted last hurrah for these businesses and customers.

The uncertainty about how long bars, restaurants and other businesses will be closed, how long their employees are unemployed and how much help they may get lingers.