Finbar’s Irish Pub
Written by the Symplicity team
Maritime Resilience is a series of stories on how local organizations are adapting to COVID-19.
Hard work, loyal patrons, and luck of the Irish carrying Bedford pub through pandemic
Finbar’s Irish Pub has not only surpassed that elusive seven-year mark but is now proving its resilience through a pandemic.
Along with every other food establishment around, the Bedford-based pub was mandated to close with the arrival of COVID-19 to the Maritimes. For the first few weeks, the complete shutdown was bleak with the loss of several staff members.
“From March 17 until early June we were in ‘what-do-we-do-next?’ mode,” recalls Casey. Starting with a takeout and curbside pickup model, Finbar’s was able to reopen and hire back a few staff members. Their limited menu offered some new items to entice customers.
As it turned out, their patrons needed little persuasion.
Casey was slowly able to hire back more staff, and the team continued to add more options for their customers. Online ordering was set up. Hours were extended. With the new stay-at-home dynamic, families were spending more time together and Finbar’s embraced it with take-home meal kits.
Eventually, Nova Scotia regulations allowed restaurants to reopen for dining in. Finbar’s indoor seating was adjusted to 50% capacity but the reopening conveniently fell at the beginning of the patio season. With a patio twice the size of their restaurant, technically the pub was able to open at usual full capacity.
Extra space and customer loyalty are just a few of the many advantages for Finbar’s.
Plans are underway with partitions being built in the restaurant as well as more outdoor updates. “Finbar’s Sweater-Weather Patio”, a Kickstarter campaign, is set to launch in hopes of extending their setup to a 3-season patio.
Finbar’s co-owner Michael Casey giving tips to his patrons at home during quarantine