How the pandemic has affected O’Connors Irish Pub


Andrew Koss, Staff Writer

Downtown Rochester’s most popular Irish pub, O’Connors, has the largest annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration in all of Rochester Hills. The restaurant offers traditional Irish food, beer, and great service. 

Before the Coronavirus pandemic, the pub flourished due to their friendly and welcoming atmosphere, not to mention the delicious food. Just like many other businesses in the community, O’Connors was directly impacted by the state restrictions that had to be put in place over the past few months. 

When restrictions on dine in services were lifted in June of 2020, O’Conners, along with other restaurants, began to offer restaurant services once again. 

“We had dine-in during June but she [Governor Whitmer] shut us down in November,” O’Connors manager said, “then we were doing dine-in at 50 percent capacity.”

At this point the restaurant allowed dine-in services, assuming the customers wore masks when not seated,and abided by social distancing guidelines.

However, these dine-in services had to come to a stop in November, when Michigan regulations increased due to a rise in COVID cases. O’Connors handled this change with ease, and tried to make the best out of the situation. Although dine in is not available, there are still many other options the restaurant offers customers.

“Customers can call online, we do door dash, we do grub hub,” she said.  “They can also call directly here to the pub and get their carry out.”

As far as precautions are concerned, O’Connors also has a very effective system in place in order to keep customer to consumer contact to a minimum. Instead of having each customer go in to collect their food the restaurant has workers bring the food directly out to the customers. 

All of the servers wear masks when they go out of the vehicle, which makes the process very safe and with minimal interaction. 

“We do a Touchless credit card machine so customers don’t have to use a pen,” she said.  “They can just touch the screen, which is cleaned after each customer.”

O’Connor’s also transformed the front of their restaurant to act as a carry out station, so that people could order and then enjoy some of their items as they viewed the downtown lights. 

These little details that O’Connors has in place help the restaurant maintain a safe and easy process for Irish food lovers to go through when they want to get carry out.

In these unprecedented times it is this flexibility and efficiency that helps restaurants such as O’Connors keep their business successful.