A decade ago I landed in Dublin the day after St. Patrick’s Day. As I expected, not a snake in sight. But it surprised me that the supposed epicenter of the most debaucherous celebration of the year lacked the post-party carnage. No green puke puddles. No girls walking home with only one shoe. No proof that lives were ruined and cell phones were lost.
As it turns out, what Americans view as the Fourth of July and Halloween jammed into one magical shamrockin’ good time, is actually a semi-tasteful religious holiday over there. Folks in Ireland don some green, attend very large parades followed by a church service, and then partake in a few pints before stuffing their faces (usually at home). Sure, there are some people who still blow it out, but it’s not like the green-beer-chug-athon and stupid-face-slugfest it is stateside.
During my trip I learned that a lot of stuff we call Irish, seems a bit off to the actual Irish. Americans have a long history of taking other country’s traditions and making them way better, and St. Patrick’s Day may very well be our crowning achievement.
Here’s how to do it the American way while disrespecting our pretend Irish heritage on St. Patrick’s Day.
This place is a complete sh*t show on St. Patty’s Day, but in a good way, sort of. We just recommend you get there early and get out before someone in your party starts crying. When you’re there, order a round of Car Bombs. This drink jokingly refers to the acts of terrorism perpetrated by the IRA. Which would be kind of like a European ordering a Ted Kaczynski in Montana. Real nice.
The Lobby is known for their mimosa towers and long brunch waits. In past years they’ve had a great corned beef and cabbage thing going on. But this is an American tradition. In Ireland you’re going to have a hard time finding this combo anywhere.
The name says it all. This place has all of the whiskeys, Irish and otherwise. They do a whiskey of the month that often gives you the opportunity to try something different at a reasonable price. If you hope to avoid the pre-dark brown liquor blackout, order a Black & Tan. Made right this is half a glass of Bass Ale with half a glass of Guinness floating on top. What makes it wrong is that “Black & Tan” was a nickname for the English police who were known to have Gestapo-like tactics against their Irish subjects.
If you’re doing the full Colfax pub crawl, this is approximately your half way point. The Snug is packed most weekends as it’s a favorite place to drink for Cap Hill residents and it’s filled to the brim on St. Patrick’s Day. For a taste of the Emerald Isle, try their authentic Corned Beef Egg Rolls or Irish Nachos. They are just like your Grandma O’Leary used to make.
Take the mall shuttle here after you get overwhelmed by the crowds at Fado’s. It’s a chain but not awful like a Bennigan's. Order another Car Bomb. Oh, the delicious horror.
Despite its name this joint is quite popular on St. Patty’s. They have cheap drinks, great pizza, and there’s usually fast music blasting. Put a few dollars into the jukebox and play your favorite Irish punk band, like The Dropkick Murphy’s.
One of the best rooftop patios in Downtown for every occasion. During Denver’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration, it’s a prime spot to catch glimpses of our sorry ass parade. Get yourself a 180 Octane and huck green beads at the people below...Mardi Gras-style. (Note: “Erin go Bragh” is not code for “show us your tits.”)
It’s been years since we’ve been brave enough to do KTCL’s annual breakfast/concert at LoDo’s Bar and Grill. The bands are usually much bigger than the venue (this year that SOB Nathaniel Rateliff headlines) but waiting in line before the sun comes up is a pretty big commitment. When they play “Bloody Sunday” between each set, hate on U2 with every fiber of your being. Seriously, they are just the worst. But don’t say that aloud if you ever visit Ireland. It’ll get your ass kicked faster than talking sh*t about soccer or ordering a Car Bomb.