MELBOURNE, Fla. — It's a big party in Melbourne this weekend as St. Patrick's Day revelers are celebrating.

What You Need To Know

  • St. Patrick's Day weekend a boon for Central Florida businesses

  • Three years after COVID, small businesses have improved staffing

  • Business owner says some people lost incentive to work

It's also a boon for local businesses, who are on the cusp of being fully staffed once again after three years of struggles.

That includes Terrance O'Grady, owner of Lumber Jack's Axe House and Sports Bar.

They just moved to their new, larger location in December.

"We are really looking forward to the month of March, Spring Break and St Patrick's and March Madness," O'Grady said.

"It's going to wild and crazy for at least the next two days," said kitchen manager Aaron Rosenow, who said he's fortunate to be fully staffed in time for St Patrick's.

He's worked hard in kitchens for more than two decades.

"You won't make it if you don't have that heart and desire," Rosenow said.

But over the past couple years, staffing has been an issue. O'Grady says things are better, but not quite where they need to be.

"It's still a problem getting people to want to come to work," he says. "All the unemployment and reimbursements they were getting, and all the different programs that were out there, people had no incentive to come out and work."

O'Grady says he won't take the positive trend for granted — or rely on the luck of the Irish for his business to survive.

Expect an even bigger crowd Saturday in downtown Melbourne for the annual St Patrick's Day parade.