Fitz’s Pub has seen a significant decline in the number of Elmhurst University students since the pandemic began.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn, bars and restaurants throughout the country are forced to stay open while observing safety precautions.
“It’s not what it used to be. I’m sure we have some EU students, [but] most of our business is residential,” said Margaret Fitzharris, co-owner and general manager of Fitz’s Pub in Elmhurst.
Known for “Thirsty Thursdays,” Fitz’s is currently faced with the challenge of providing a safe environment for customers.
“On the nights that used to be the college night, which is Thursday night, we have security at the door… They monitor the amount of people that come in,” explained Fitzharris.
The co-owner outlines that the business has indoor and outdoor seating with mask mandates indoors. “The barstools are six feet apart, and the tables are cleaned and sanitized when customers leave their tables,” Fitzharris said.
Despite the precautions put in place, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for the public would classify dining at Fitz’s as “Even More Risk.”
Students on the EU campus are continuously adjusting to the new normal, which includes limiting exposure in high risk areas such as bars.
“I don’t think the bars are taking enough precautions to protect from COVID. If there’s an outbreak it would probably be from [the bars],” said Chelsea Labay, a senior majoring in biochemistry. “Most [students] probably don’t go… a small group [might go].”
“If they [students] do go out they will go outside of Elmhurst or just hang out with a group of friends,” said senior Lillian Solis. “I haven’t seen anyone go out to Fitz’s.”