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Downtown bars requiring masks, limiting capacity for New Year's Eve events

Paddy O's and BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups are following the City's mask mandate and making sure people are bringing in the new year safely.

ST. LOUIS — BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups and Paddy O's are less than a mile apart from each other in downtown St. Louis. Two very different venues that are both preparing for big celebrations on New Year's Eve.

"We have two bands, an early band and then a later band that does the late-night one and we have party favors and champagne toast at midnight," BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups owner John May said.

"We're going to offer a premium bar, a buffet open in a couple of different spots. We're going to have a champagne toast at midnight. We're going to have a bunch of different DJs going on, it's going to be a lot of fun," Paddy O's bar manager Rob Colie said.

St. Louis City still has a mask mandate in place. With COVID cases on the rise, May said guests have to follow the rules.

"You have to have a mask when you enter the building until you're seated and at that point you can take your mask off and when you're wandering through the building, you have to have a mask on," May said.

Colie said they also require masks at the door. 

Both establishments have a limited number of tickets and reservations online.

"I think that we will sell out. It's going to be pretty close. We're only selling two-thirds of our capacity though, and we also have a ton of outside space for everybody," Colie said.

"At one time we could put 300 people in here. We're limiting ourselves to 150 capacity at this point. We're only doing reservations only," May said.

May required his staff to get vaccinated and have a negative test before the weekend's festivities. 

He hopes anyone going out for New Year's Eve in the city will do their part to stay safe.

"Respect the mask and respect the people around you and hopefully we'll just get through it," May said.

This is Paddy O's first year hosting a New Years' Eve celebration. 

They're preparing 800 champagne toasts ahead of time, so people will be well prepared for the countdown to midnight.

Both BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups and Paddy O's still have tickets available online.