Bars and Restaurants break New Year’s traditions during the pandemic

4 Sisters is closing all before the ball drops on the new year

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT)- New Year’s celebrations will be smaller this year.  Pandemic guidelines mean limited crowds and fewer parties. 

By the time the ball drops on the New Year, 4 Sisters will be empty. The La Crosse wine bar and tapas restaurant is skipping the traditional midnight toasts, closing at 9pm after what they hope will be an early rush. “We’ll be busy, but only so busy with all the social distancing and COVID guidelines we have to follow.”, explains 4 Sisters General Manager Tanner Happe.

Bars and restaurants in Wisconsin and nation-wide are struggling with reduced capacity limits and a pandemic weary public. Avery Werner is not going out this year. She’s staying home to limit her risk of contracting the virus. “This year it’s just going to be me and my friend.”, says the La Crosse college student.

Many bars and restaurants have reduced staff and hours during the pandemic, others have been forced to close. 4 Sisters expanded, adding 6 tables, outside.  “It’s been tough but it’s also taught us to utilize the resources we have.”, says Happe.

 The heated bubble booths are booked through early January.  Happe hopes it’s sign of life for an industry facing so much uncertainty.  “We gotta move forward it’s the only thing we can do.”

The hospitality industry, like the public, is ready to ring in the New Year. At 4 Sisters they will raise a glass a few hours early and again, when the ball drops at home.