By: Jonathan Phelps, New Hampshire Union Leader
Since March, Neal Brown hasn’t much felt the luck of the Irish, but at least he’s still on his feet.
“Not exactly the best year ever, but we’re still here. We’re still open,” said Brown, co-owner of the Shaskeen Pub and Restaurant on Elm Street in Manchester. “We are in a better position than some places might find themselves.”
Some of those other places have shut down for good.
Since the night before St. Patrick’s Day, when Gov. Chris Sununu ordered restaurants to close their dining rooms to curb the spread of COVID-19, restaurant and bar owners have struggled to bring in enough revenue to cover payroll, rent and overhead costs. They’ve faced a year of constant change that included periods of takeout-only business, which gradually gave way to limited indoor seating. Some invested in tables outside and plastic shields inside to increase the number of patrons they could accommodate.
Shaskeen has kept all its employees, but some took on second jobs to make ends meet.
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