With the return of unstable workers to the office, the unstable return of happy hours occurs.
The bar on the second floor of Times Square’s Beer Authority, which was almost full when Peter Torres and Jimmy Pazan (both 29 years old) arrived last Wednesday night, had two openings in the front corner of the TV. I was able to find a stool that aired the highlights of the sport.
The two, who were hired by a bank in Midtown during a pandemic and began to return home directly over the past year, had just finished their work.
“We come out after a particularly tough day at brunch,” said Pazan, who chose whiskey and ginger ale.
“It’s not planned. It just happens,” said Torres, who likes Stella.
There are more than 40 people in the bar, and general manager Aoife Canny said it was slower than the last few weeks.
Some bars report happy hour on weekdays, even when companies are having a hard time getting workers back to the office. An institution that has existed since the 1930s, It’s becoming like the pre-pandemic era. The national office occupancy averages 41%, 99%, less than half the pre-pandemic level, according to workplace security company Kastle Systems, and the central business district is empty than in 2019.
Still, those who are back in the office are back in the bar after work.
Midtown event company employees Melissa Rodriguez, 24 and Samaya Maze, 22, joined about 10 colleagues last Wednesday for an instant happy hour at the Beer Authority. Their company returns to the office twice a week.
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“It’s a great break from focusing on work,” Rodriguez added, adding that it provides a pause between work days and her commute.
Recently hired, Maze is having fun with her colleagues outside the office. “It’s ourselves, it’s a time when we’re not nervous,” she said.
According to the National Restaurant Association, the pandemic has closed about 90,000 bars and restaurants nationwide over the past two years. Due to the floating cases of coronavirus in the United States, facilities that survived or were subsequently opened have a small number of customers and inconsistent business. 110,000 Per day, according to the New York Times database. Emily Mokin, a food and beverage analyst at Morning Consult, said the soaring prices of gas, groceries and other commodities were “happy hour, especially if consumers could feel uncomfortable spending. It was like double pain. “
At Jimmy’s Corner in Times Square, owner Adam Glen said a crowd of happy hours began to enter before the bar was closed for 18 months by the pandemic and most offices were closed.
“If I wasn’t there by 5 o’clock, I probably wouldn’t be seated,” Glenn said. “You will be standing, and we will be full.” Bar has been in his family for 50 years.
But even with more offices reopening and workers demanding to return for a few days, happy hour at Jimmy’s Corner isn’t in its pre-pandemic state yet.
“We’re very close to what we were doing and we’re really happy about how much has grown since we reopened in October,” Glenn said. “But still, it’s not exactly the same as the post-work theater crowd we had before.”
According to Mokin, empty offices have had a spillover effect on the central business district.
“These modified work schedules absolutely mean less business in bars and restaurants and less traffic walking through doors,” she said. “These hybrid and home work schedules are influential.” According to the latest Morning Consult data, the average number of monthly visits to the bar fluctuates, 1.5 in February and 1.2 in March. It was a time.
Jimmy’s Corner also faced what Glenn called a “small uplift” over the past few months, such as the winter Omicron surge and the wave of Broadway closures. Two musicals — “Dear Evan Hansen” and “Tina” — Recently, they announced that they would end their run this summer. Glenn said his happy hour didn’t have the same “consistency and predictability” as before.
Happy hour at 2Twenty2Tavern in Chicago’s central business district has been approaching normal pre-pandemic times for the past two months, said owner Chris Mannos. But unlike the Beer Department and Jimmy’s Corner, “someone still wears a mask and seems worried about what’s going on in Covid,” he said.
In Cook County, including Chicago, At least 1 in 5 residents Since the beginning of the pandemic, it has been infected with the coronavirus, affecting more than 1.2 million people.
According to Mannos, some bars in the area have shortened business hours or closed on certain days, but 2Twenty2Tavern does not.
“We are a family business, so if we fall, it’s our entire livelihood,” he said. “We just crushed this and I think we got that result.”
At Everson Royce Bar in Los Angeles, General Manager Jason Moore said a large group, including a 50-person outing from Spotify, has begun to return to happy hour.
Moore, who has booked a large group of bars, said:
According to Moore, happy hour at the bar can range from a few colleagues stopping by to get a drink to a large group calling to book a table.
He added that this summer, Everson Royce Bar was expecting a group of more people for a drink on the way home from work.
“I’ll jump off this summer,” he said. “The number of pre-pandemics will be seen, if not larger than pre-pandemics, just because more and more people are tired of it.”