Last year, St. Patrick’s Day fell on Thursday, leaving many bleary-eyed revelers Friday. Thanks to Leap Year, it’s skipping right over Friday this weekend. But that doesn’t mean local Irish pubs aren’t already getting started. Though the holiday falls on Saturday, some Irish bars and restaurants are featuring entertainment, food and drink specials as early as today and continuing into Sunday.
While many South Sound restaurants and bars go green on the 17th, we stuck with those that are Irish year-round for this roundup on St. Paddy’s Day festivities:
Belfast, Ireland, native Charlie McManus is honoring his homeland at his Crown Bar and Primo Grill in a low-key style.
The Crown will feature Kathleen McManus’ Irish stew, oysters on the half shell and champ (a dish from the north of Ireland that’s made with mashed potatoes, green onions and butter).
Drink specials at Crown Bar will be Guinness (on tap), Bushmills, Jameson and Red Breast Irish whiskeys plus Irish Car Bombs (a beer and whiskey cocktail). That last drink might not be politically correct, but McManus takes it in stride. “It is somewhat offensive but I’ve gotten used to it. My niece was visiting last summer and she said they have Car Bombs in Belfast, too,” McManus said.
Primo also will feature the Irish stew plus Guinness-braised lamb shanks, grilled Alaskan king salmon on champ, grilled lamb chops and mint sauce with colcannon (the southern equivalent of champ but with cabbage), oysters on the half shell and white and black pudding mushroom risotto.
Dinner starts at 5 p.m. at both establishments.
Doyle’s Public House
208 Saint Helens Ave.; 253-272-7468, doylespublichouse.com
Doyle’s Public House opens at 6 a.m. Saturday for beer, shots and a corned beef hash breakfast. The pub will have a tent set up for revelers and entertainment.
Featured bands include Excellent Gentleman, F***ing Eagles, BLVD Park, Mighty High, Ben Union Band, Sweet Kiss Mama and the Pierce County Firefighters Pipes and Drums. The latter group will be making their annual rounds to several Irish pubs that day.
Corned beef and cabbage will be on the menu starting today. In honor of National Corndog Day, the pub will feature pigs in a blanket Saturday.
O’Malley’s Irish Pub
2403 Sixth Ave.; 253-627-9403
The party started Thursday at O’Malley’s Irish Pub, but there still are three days to get in on the action.
In the back parking lot, a tent will double the size of O’Malley’s and include satellite bars with Jameson and Bushmills whiskeys plus green beer, Guinness Stout and other Irish beers. Food offerings include corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie, Irish stew and bangers.
Tonight’s show begins at 9 p.m. with Fresno band DB and The Struggle and Tacoma bands City Hall and North Slope. There’s a $5 cover charge after 9.
On Saturday, the bar opens at 9 a.m. with music at 11 a.m. on an outdoor stage. Music on the indoor stage starts at 6:30 p.m. The lineup include The Fun Police of Tacoma, Shivering Denizens from Seattle, Menace and Smoke like Daddy plus traditional Irish music. Saturday’s $5 cover charge will be donated to Network Tacoma.
The event continues into Sunday with no cover charge.
815 Pacific Ave.; 253-272-6963
Paddy Coyne’s is the place to be if you want to get your green on early Saturday. And there will be a lot of folks doing so when the establishment opens its doors at 6 a.m. for the St. Paddy’s Day Run (See box).
A beer garden on Court A opens at 9 a.m., and a $10 cover charge starts around 1 p.m. The Fire Inside will play traditional Irish songs and popular covers. The pub will serve a limited but authentic Irish menu.
McNamara’s Pub and Eatery
1595 Wilmington Road; 253-964-9200, macspub.com
Irish bands will play inside and outside Saturday. The music begins at 11:30 a.m. and a tented beer garden in McNamara’s parking lot opens at 2 p.m. Doors open at 8 a.m. and entertainment runs until 10 p.m.
Food will feature the pub’s signature dishes of steak and Guinness stew, shepherd’s pie, corned beef and cabbage and Reuben rolls (spring rolls with an Irish flair).
No cover charge.
Twisted Kilt Irish Pub and Eatery
109 S. Meridian; 253-604-4791
Rain won’t dampen the Irish spirit at newly opened Twisted Kilt. The pub is erecting a 40-by-40-foot enclosed tent in its parking lot which will house a beer garden and entertainment. It starts at 9 tonight with U2 cover band Mad Silence followed by a DJ.
The pub opens at 9 a.m. Saturday with entertainment starting at 1 p.m. The Johnny Cash tribute band Folsom Prism of Bonney Lake will play at 3, 6 and 9 p.m.
A parking lot food stand will serve both Reuben and turkey sandwiches. Inside, the pub will offer shepherd’s pie, fish and chips and corned beef and cabbage. Drink specials include Irish beer and whiskeys. A $5 cover charge includes the first beverage.
Craig Sailor: 253-597-8541, firstname.lastname@example.org