Answer to earthquake: Call it a day, have a drink

After Tuesday’s 5.8 earthquake, thousands of people left their offices and poured out of Center City buildings, wondering what was going on. For many, “quitting time” came early and downtown bars reaped the benefit.Cell phone service was erratic, trains were delayed, and the rhythm of the afternoon was disrupted. Megan Tocher, a waitress at Tir Na Nog at 15th and the Parkway, described the scene as though there was a rip in the space-time continuum.”There was mass chaos, people trying to get through on their cell phones,” she said. “People didn’t know if they should go home, or back to work. Everybody standing stationary in the middle of the city. It was strange.”That strangeness turned into bar tabs as many people assumed happy hour started three hours early. Dan Mahoney, a bartender at the Happy Rooster nearby, said that after the everybody realized they had indeed survived the Great Earthquake of 2011, the war stories came out.”Where they were, what was happening, what happened to their building, what floor they were on. Bob, over here, he saw the windows buckle on the 13th floor,” said Mahoney.Many downtown bars saw an unexpected rush of drinkers looking for post-earthquake beers. But by 6 o’clock, when normal happy hour is usually peaking, many bars had already quieted down.

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