NORTH TONAWANDA N.Y. (WIVB) — Bars and restaurants across Western New York are looking forward to a boost in business on Saint Patrick’s Day.

Dwyer’s Irish Pub in North Tonawanda is preparing for a busy holiday. Owner Greg Stenis says they’re happy they can celebrate it with their customers, restriction-free.

“We’re expecting big crowds, we’re expecting one of the best years we’ve ever had, which is great because we need it, all the restaurants do,” Stenis said. “After a few years of not-so-normal, we’re really excited to see this happening.”

From Dwyer’s to Gene McCarthy’s in the Old First Ward, bars and restaurants are bringing in extra staff, preparing the food and making sure they have enough Guinness on tap.

“We’ll plan it like we did 2, 3 years ago where we’ll have extra staff on and we’re gonna do a full menu, a lot of corn beef and cabbage, lunches and dinners,” said co-owner Bill Metzer. “We’re excited. It’s the first time in a couple years, due to the pandemic that people feel free to come on out, and enjoy the day and celebrate with us. We’re happy to have them.”

At the Irishman in Williamsville, the staff is preparing for not only a busy Saint Patrick’s Day but a busy week.

“We have Irish dancers coming in Thursday, Friday Saturday and Sunday this weekend,” general manager Maria Macpeek said. “We have live music, so it’s exciting we’re so happy that everyone can be back out and be together. We’re excited that we’re back in full force, and it’s been a long two years.”

Restaurant owners are asking customers to be patient over the next few days while waiting on a table or a seat, as places are still short-staffed.

“Bring your green, bring your patience, bring your kindness and we’ll all have a good time,” Macpeek said.

Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.