Many organizations and venues decided to cancel weekend St. Patrick’s Day events, but not La Buena Vida, the new Spanish restaurant in Moriches.

“We figured, what’s the safest place to be but outside,” said co-owner Tom Freck, who hosted an outdoor St. Patrick’s Day Party that was originally supposed to coincide with the now-postponed annual Center Moriches parade. “There’s social interaction and the tables are widely separated.”

The party featured music, burgers, hot dogs, corned beef and cabbage, beer and a corn hole game. 

The restaurant’s dining room was also open, and Ed McGilly, of St. James, took advantage of the opportunity by buying two orders of lamb chops.

La Buena Vida in Moriches celebrated St. Patrick’s Day early with a scaled-down outdoor party, (Carl Corry, March 15, 2020)

Still, Freck said the party was a scaled-down version of what was originally planned, and that dining-room business is down 50% due to concerns over the coronavirus.

“It’s going to be a big deal,” he said.

It was a concern echoed by James Harvey, who came out from Massapequa with his wife and daughter for the party. 

“Local businesses can’t afford to keep going if people don’t patronize,” Harvey said.

Domingo Peralta, 35, of Port Jefferson, thinks “people are worried too much” about the coronavirus. “Wash your hands and enjoy life,” he said. “I feel better being around family and friends.”

Above: Tom Freck, co-owner of La Buena Vida in Moriches.