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Restaurants carry on despite closure

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St. Patrick's Day in Peoria usually draws big crowds to the local Irish bars and restaurants.

This year, all those we talked to said they will be complying with the governor's orders meaning everyone has to celebrate on their own.

Kelleher's in Peoria let customers have their "last meal" so to speak.

Governor Pritzker has ordered all restaurants and bars to close down for two weeks.

"We're taking it day by day right now and trying to figure it out," said Pat Sullivan, the owner of Kelleher's.

Despite state leaders urging social distancing, some customers wanted to sit down and enjoy their holiday tradition.

"I can't live in fear. I'm not going to live in a bubble. I'm going to take precautions. I already wash my hands," said Tammy Munoz, who was eating at Kelleher's.

When the closure goes in place, Kelleher's is planning on finding ways to get their food into customer's hands.

Even though Monday was fair game for restaurants to be for "dine-in" a lot of restaurants opted not to.

"Obviously this is not ideal. It's not great for the staff and all the employees that we care about. Being locally owned business is a really difficult thing to accept but public safety is more important," said the owner of W.E. Sullivan's, Lauren Blasek.

Sullivan's in the heights will be doing "to-go" orders and window orders until the closure ends.

Donnelly's Irish Pub decided to be only take out after they had customers weigh-in on the decision.

"I don't know if the take-out business is going to be what you think it's going to be. If this picks up speed. If it does, we'll do the full menu until the 30th. It'll be drive-thru and us walking it out to your car," said owner Donnelly's, Ryan Donnelly.

So far, restaurants tell me Peoria has been calling and making a long list of "to-go" orders.

The three business' we spoke with employ about 100 people together.

All hoping social distancing works so they can get back to their jobs after the two weeks are up.

Alex Menke

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