Thanksgiving Eve not as brisk for business in St. Petersburg in 2020

Pinellas County

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – As a business owner, Mike Kellem is keeping his hopes up this Thanksgiving Eve.

“The night before Thanksgiving is typically one of the busiest bar nights of the year,” said Kellem. “I know it’s probably not as busy as other years.”

Kellem owns Bar@548 on Central Avenue in downtown St. Petersburg. He says business has been steady, but it hasn’t been as busy as in years past on the day some know as “Drinksgiving.”

“At 8:30 on a night like this, to have two empty spots here right in front of the bars,” Kellem said. “It’s unusual.”

The sidewalks are not packed as they have been in the past and some patrons are wearing their masks even while walking outside of establishments. Others say COVID-19 is not keeping them from living their lives.

“Hey, we’re going out, we’re going to live our lives, life is good, commuity is good supporting business is good,” said Michael Stone out with his girlfriend Mary Ann Cole. “I’ve got a pretty lady around me. Life is good. No reservations.”

At the Bankok Thai Restaurant across from Bar@548, sushi chef Zach Karracho says business on Thanksgiving Eve used to be quite brisk. Not this year.

“Since the covid started, the business is completely different,” said Karracho. “I don’t know how long it will take to go back to normal but life is not normal like it was before.”

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