SPOKANE, Wash. -- Times are tough for businesses all over Washington state. But for O'Doherty's in downtown Spokane, the news of a restaurant and bar shutdown was particularly rough. This is the week they count on for booming business for St. Patrick's Day.
When last Saturday's parade was canceled, the bar hoped that would be the final blow to their budget in the COVID-19 nightmare. Then, Sunday night they got word Governor Jay Inslee had ordered the closure of restaurants, with the exception of take-out and delivery, through March 31. With all the stress, you'd think owner Tim O'Doherty would be upset. But when you see him, he's never without a smile.
"We've faced a lot of things through the years," he said. "This is a challenge. We will rise up and do the best we can. That's Spokane for ya."
If you're looking for someone who is a glass, or I guess green beer, half-full kinda guy, Tim O'Doherty is your man.
"It's kind of hard because (tomorrow) is like Irish Christmas, I was 'like come on Gov, one more day," he said with a big grin.
Tim and his wife have served Spokane in their downtown staple for 28 years. That's nearly three decades of the highest of highs and then lows like this one.
"I think better days will come, they always come," he said.
But until they do, Tim and his wife are in overdrive to make sure their beloved staff are okay.
"Some of these people have been with me more than 25 years," he said. "Some might even move in with me because of the rent situation."
Take-out orders will lessen the sting at least a little, he's also helping employees find and pursue other work. Places like grocery stores and delivery companies are hiring. Tim says he'll simply to anything to help his employees make ends meet.
"We'll try to keep our people busy," he said. "When this thing comes out on the other side, hopefully in time for summer, we'll start it again."
And he's confident it will. And wants you to be too.
"I'm Irish, I'm in America," he said. "Life is pretty good."
And better yet he's in Spokane. And the only thing he hopes will spread here from this point forward is positivity. We can do this. We can get through this together.
"If you want someone who knows this will be okay, I'm your boy," he said. "We've got this Spokane."
The O'Doherty's staff did put in a 'Help Me Hayley' request. They've asked for her assistance in getting a free parking space customers can park in quickly while picking up to-go orders. Hayley reached out to Spokane's City Council President Breean Beggs who said he'd get immediately on it to try to help. Hayley will keep us posted as she works to try to help ensure this happens.