great places to toast the luck o' the Irish
Fri., March 12, 1999
hear the bagpipes playing? St. Patrick's Day is Wednesday, so
it's time to decide where to hoist your celebratory beer. Daria
Labinsky and Stan Hieronymus, authors of The Beer Travelers
Guide (Chautauqua, $14.95), run a Web page (www.beertravelers.com)
listing more than 200 Irish pubs around the country. Here are
their suggestions for the drinking of the green.
what you'd expect an Irish pub to be: too small to be a tourist
trap, rather dark, with a low ceiling, and walls covered with
tattered theater posters, black-and-white photos of County Kerry
and portraits of the bar's namesake poet. There's also a directional
sign to Uaghna Mna Moire (Long Woman's Grave). The pub's T-shirts
bear the Behan quote, 'There's no place on Earth like the world.'
Where you might expect to find a TV, there's a fish tank filled
with tiny sharks.''
located in Tipperary Hill, Syracuse's Irish enclave, has been
around since 1933. It has a separate door for leprechauns. A
tanker full of green beer is delivered the first Sunday of March,
and at noon everybody in the place gets one free green beer.
Coleman's opens for breakfast on St. Patrick's Day and shuts
the door once the place is full. Then you've got to wait for
somebody to leave before you may enter.''
has been around since 1882. Murals, World War II posters, photographs,
newspaper clippings, a dining room dedicated to Irish freedom
fighter Michael Collins, another room that pays tribute to John
''Honey Fitz'' Fitzgerald (JFK's grandfather) -- they're all
here. There's a story that a customer rode in on horseback one
St. Patrick's Day, ordered a drink, rode around the inside of
the bar and left.''
Pub Co. has built more than two dozen pubs in the United States
and hundreds around the world, shipping the building parts from
Ireland. This was the first pre-fab pub. The offspring are known
as Fado in many places, but also by other names such as Dick
O'Dow's. Some stick to a single theme, but this one has five
theme areas: Dublin, Victorian, Country Cottage, Pub Store,
Gaelic and Brewery.''
one hand it's an excellent dining spot with a killer single-malt
whiskey menu. But Kells also has a terrific 40-foot-long bar
with cast iron pillars, offers real darts and shows Irish soccer
and rugby on the television. Kells is also home to the largest
Irish festival on the West Coast.''
sign reads, 'Give me your thirsty, your famished, your befuddled
masses.' There's a picture of Richard Nixon shaking hands with
Elvis over the bar. Kelly's Irish Times is a popular bar for
politicians, Irish and otherwise. It was a St. Patrick's Day
favorite of President Ronald Reagan.''
pub that manages to be lively without being rowdy. The Mucky
Duck has great live music most nights, mixing singer-songwriters
from the U.S. with folk music from around the world, including
Ireland, and there's an open mike night each Wednesday.''
Irish Pub & Brewery
as a small pub grew to become a repeat winner of Florida Trend
magazine's Golden Spoon award, designating it as one of the
top 20 restaurants in the state. The eclectic decorations include
a giant moose head, a Notre Dame room and more than 150,000
signed dollar bills fluttering from the walls and ceiling. Among
the beers brewed on the premises is a creamy stout.''
Irish Channel Pub
is actually in the French Quarter, rather than in New Orleans'
historic Irish Channel neighborhood. There's Irish music every
night in the music room, a great courtyard and a separate poetry
room. O'Flaherty's celebrates Celtic Christmas in high style.''
Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
hall is a separate room with 14 boards. The Parting Glass has
an excellent music room, and Irish folk music is one of the
mainstays. 'Breakfast & Backgammon' each Sunday features
a very large Irish breakfast.''