'It's nice to be open': San Mateo Co. celebrates move to orange tier on St. Patrick's Day

SAN MATEO, Calif. (KGO) -- There's a lot to celebrate this St. Patrick's Day, especially if you live on the Peninsula.

San Mateo County is the first in the Bay Area to move into the orange tier. It means bars can reopen for outdoor service, and the timing couldn't be better.

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There were toasts to health, happiness and St. Patrick's day inside O'Neill's Irish Pub in San Mateo.

"I'm here because it's St. Patrick's Day and my name is Erin," said Erin Manogue.

Manogue was enjoying a green beer, while thinking about orange.

"I think today's a great day to celebrate moving into the orange tier, it's exciting we're moving towards more normalcy," said Manogue.

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San Mateo County is the first bay area county to enter the orange tier of the state's COVID reopening plan.

The orange tier means this bar can now move from 25 percent to 50 percent capacity inside.

"It's nice to be open and have people inside celebrating all the little holidays we have," said bartender Gabby Davis.

Remember last year's Patrick's Day? No one does. That's because it was canceled due to the coronavirus lockdown.

"We thought two or three months and we'd be back to normal, little did we know it would be a year later," said Eddie McGraw from San Mateo.

Lots of "wearin of the green" at Fiddler's Green in Millbrae. Don't forget the corned beef and cabbage.

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Mike Campbell was celebrating his son's first St. Patrick's Day.

"We're excited to be here supporting local businesses able to eat outside and inside is exciting," said Campbell.

There was almost a full house indoors. Sandra Hirzell spent months putting her Irish outfit together, hoping she'd be lucky enough to show it off.

"It's just nice to be here with my friends lots of Irish friends, I am three percent Irish," said Hirzell.

Orange tier means COVID-19 rates are slowing and more people are getting vaccinated, but it's doesn't mean we're out of the woods yet.

"It's very exciting times in San Mateo County, again wear your mask, be socially distant, hopefully it will all go well," said San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa.

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