LOWER MANHATTAN (WABC) -- It may have been closed since the pandemic came roaring into town, but even COVID wasn't enough to stop happy hour at Stout NYC in the Financial District.
But at the Pint for Pint event on Thursday night, it wasn't alcohol flowing - it was blood.
"When you give a pint of blood in Ireland they give you a pint of Guinness because it's our stout, they give you a pint of stout because it's full of iron. So I thought to myself why don't we have blood drives in our empty bars where nothing's happening at? Turn a negative into a positive," co-owner Martin Whelan said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a chronic deficit in blood donations needed for patients in the hospitals served by the New York Blood Center.
While blood drives typically happen in office buildings, schools or churches. But for obvious reasons, most of those locations are not an option these days.
That's why the bar location is so vital. Stout NYC had more than 60 donors walk through its doors Thursday. So many that they were fully booked.
Mayor Bill de Blasio put out a call to action this week and said the city needs a seven-day supply of blood and right now it's less than half that.
The mayor and first lady donated blood at the New York Blood Center on Thursday, but Stout NYC has been holding blood drives since September.
They have received over 500 donations at their three locations in the city and they have seven more drives scheduled for December.
After donating blood, you get a voucher for your pint which can be redeemed when bars are back open.
But you don't even need the voucher. Just bring your blood donor receipt from anywhere in New York and you'll still get a drink on the house.
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