BALTIMORE (WJZ) — While Baltimore City’s sky won’t light up with fireworks this New Year’s Eve, people are still making the most of their night.

At Revival Hotel’s Topside Restaurant, preparations are underway for a party.

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“We’re gonna be safe, and we’re gonna provide the best experience possible for everyone who walks through our doors,” said Donte Johnson, manager at Topside.

The restaurant, which can fit 120 guests in their dining room, capped its capacity to 70 due to COVID. But Johnson said they haven’t closed their doors throughout this pandemic and the Omicron variant isn’t going to make them start now.

During a time when many bars and restaurants are usually full, this latest COVID surge and the Omicron variant is causing crowds to thin for a second New Year’s Eve in a row.

“It seems like everybody has COVID right now, it’s crazy,” said Mike, who was in Baltimore City for a wedding.

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At Max’s Taphouse in Fells Point, owner Gail Furman said she didn’t expect the bar to be packed. But they stayed open to serve their employees as much as their customers.

“While we won’t make a lot of money today, we’ll make it up in the future and our staff is still employed and that’s really, really important to us,” she said.

And at Bertha’s Mussels, their doors are closing before midnight, at 9 p.m.

But their loyal customers are filled with hope that next year will be better in Baltimore.

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“I’m hoping we can get back to a norm where it’s all gonna work out and we can all enjoy ourselves in the Fells Point and Baltimore area,” said Gordon, a customer.

Annie Rose Ramos