By Steve Large

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — There was one final “last call” for a downtown Sacramento staple Sunday.

The Irish pub de Vere’s that had become part of the fabric of all Sacramento celebrations closed for good. The owners say it was because of the pandemic.

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Loyal employees were the last ones there after last call. Only the tears were flowing at de Vere’s Irish pub Sunday afternoon.

Owners moved picnic tables in front of the doors and posted a letter to people hoping for a last round, reading: “Sacramento you have drank us dry and we are out of food. Thank you for the love.”

Some customers tried to get a last peek inside. The family-owned business opened 12 years ago and became an instant hit—the go-to place for all civic celebrations and beyond, including, of course, the Irish new year.

The pub also got permits to shut down the street on Saint Patrick’s Day, and held several block parties celebrating the Sacramento Republic FC’s ultimately failed bid for a Major League Soccer team.

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The de Vere-White family said COVID-19 left the business in a financial hole it could not climb out of.

So there was only one thing to do.

“COVID has hit everybody. If it can hit such a well-established place like de Vere’s, it can happen anywhere,” one customer said.

It was the closing of an establishment that was only a decade old, but felt like it was built into the DNA of downtown Sacramento.

The pub had announced last call would be at 6 p.m. Sunday, but so many people showed up early, they ran out of food and drinks early.

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The owners also closed their Davis location.