PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The good times were rolling once again at a Center City institution. McGillin’s Olde Ale House was forced to scrap its Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but with the luck of the Irish, they were back on this year.
Saint Patrick’s Day returned to McGillin’s on Wednesday morning.READ MORE: Police Identify Man Killed In North Philadelphia Hit-And-Run As 64-Year-Old Raymond Hodgins
“Great to be back, cheers to everyone,” Kimberly Evans said.
McGillin’s is the oldest continuously operated tavern in Philadelphia, but the taps suddenly stopped flowing last year.
— Howard Monroe (@HMonroeNews) March 17, 2021
“The 16th of March, 3 o’clock, a day that shall live in infamy in my mind,” McGillin’s owner Chris Mullins said.
Mullins laughs nervously now, but there was nothing to laugh about last year when Saint Patrick’s Day and every other holiday was canceled due to the pandemic. It took him up until the lead up to this Saint Patrick’s Day to feel normal again.
“Saturday was the first day in over a year where we actually did the same or nearly the same business as we did the same day a year ago,” Mullins said.READ MORE: Philadelphia Police: Kensington Shooting Leaves Man Hospitalized
During the flu pandemic of 1918, McGillin’s was about 60 years old. That was over 100 years ago. They made it through that one, and they were determined to make it through this one.
The tavern on Drury Street was founded in 1860 by the McGillin family. That’s the same year President Abraham Lincoln was elected. They survived two pandemics, two world wars and prohibition.
Shout out to Gordon, our amazing chef. Photos from the food he lovingly prepared this morning for our segment on the Today Show! They taste as good as they look! pic.twitter.com/7JJedxm9wC
— McGillin's (@McGillins) March 17, 2021
“This is an institution of Philadelphia,” Sandy Abraham said, “so I’m not surprised that a place like this made it through.”
Mullins says they have the luck of the Irish and loyal customers to thank.
“It’s just wonderful and a joyous feeling,” he said. “I always say Saint Patrick’s Day is the first day of spring. It’s like the first day that everybody is out and about.”MORE NEWS: Philadelphia's First Parade Celebrating All Winter Holidays Takes Place Saturday
McGillin’s will have Irish specials all day long and everyone is welcome, but the luck eventually runs out. There is a 90-minute time limit on tables.