Kiss us, we’ve gone Irish.
St. Patrick’s Day is almost upon us, and, in honor of the man who drove the snakes out of the Emerald Isle, restaurants and bars all over the borough are going green.
They’re also offering the best in Celtic culture, from traditional Irish food to romping music. And with our Gaelic guide to doing St. Patrick’s Day right, you won’t be just another amateur at a lousy bar on March 17.
Celebrate early with Martin McQuade, a Greenhouse Cafe regular who will be performing his annual St. Patrick’s Day show at the Bay Ridge restaurant on March 13. He’ll be accompanied by pianist Jesse Gelber for an evening of classics. Then on St. Patrick’s Day proper at the restaurant, take in the sounds of classic rock and roll band The Groove.
Also on March 17, one of the most traditional Irish pubs this side of Galway hosts the Celtic-influenced hip-hop of Seanchai and the Unity Squad.
“It’s really fun and family-oriented here,” said Rocky Sullivan’s manager Rachel Fitzgerald. “It’s not too crazy, you can actually move and enjoy the music.”
Down in Bay Ridge, Bally Bunion, named after the town in County Kerry, will be partying with the Kings County Ramblers, who are switching from bluegrass to Irish classics for the night.You’ll also be able to enjoy the bar’s famous fireplace and a fun crowd.
“The Guinness will be flowing and the people will be going,” said bartender John Allert, who has a bit o’ the Yeats in him.
The newly reopened Freddy’s Bar is also ready for the big night, as it hosts the Captures, the Telephones and the Highland Shatners for a mix of Irish, pop and rock music that even the bartenders can’t resist.
“I’m working the morning shift, but I’ll be rocking out at night to these great bands,” said bartender Ellen O’Shea.
Also in Park Slope, head over to Two Boots for two sets from The County Kings, where Mark Humble (bass, vocals), Dave Keener (guitar, vocals), Tom Keener (accordion, vocals) and Jamie Morris (drums) will perform Irish ballads, pub songs, vaudeville tunes and rockers.
If you’re in the mood to get your Aran sweater a little dirty, stop by the Bell House for the Gowanus venue’s “Saint Patrick’s Day for Sinners,” an all-redhead edition of Wasabascco Burlesque with a musical performance by Alex Battles and the Whisky Rebellion.
Jalopy Theater is also sticking with a wicked theme as it hosts “Debauchery Series: Episode 1,” with The Whistling Wolves performing songs about boozing and bruising.
“We’re going to have an amazing time,” said manager Dorina Savela. “There’s going to be so many different people having fun and drinking green beer.”
The Greenhouse Cafe [7713 Third Ave. between 76th and 77th streets in Bay Ridge, (718) 833-8200], with Martin McQuade on March 13 from 6 pm to 9 pm, and the Groove on March 17 at 7 pm; Rocky Sullivan’s [34 Van Dyke St. between Dwight and Otsego streets in Red Hook, (718) 246-8050], open at 11 am on March 17; Bally Bunion [9510 Third Ave. between 95th and 96th streets in Bay Ridge, (718) 833-2801], open at 11 am on March 17; Freddy’s Bar [627 Fifth Ave. between 17th and 18th streets in Park Slope, (718) 768-0131], open at 11 am on March 17; County Kings at Two Boots [512 Second St. at Seventh Avenue in Park Slope, (718) 499-3253], March 17 at 9 pm. Free; “Saint Patrick’s Day for Sinners” at the Bell House [149 Seventh St. between Second and Third avenues in Gowanus, (718) 643-6510], March 17 at 7:30 pm. Tickets $10; “Debauchery Series: Episode 1” at the Jalopy Theater [315 Columbia St. at Woodhull Street in Columbia Street Waterfront District, (718) 395-3214], March 17 at 9 pm. Tickets $10.
Who has time to cook shepherd’s pie, and what, exactly, is corned beef? Lucky for you, some of Brooklyn’s finest have prepared special feasts just for St. Patrick’s Day, so you don’t have to.
Make your reservations now for Eamonn’s in Brooklyn Heights, which will be serving smoked salmon on homemade brown bread, Irish pork sausage over creamed mashed potatoes and Baileys cheesecake.
“We’re expecting a lot of people,” said hostess Lisa Gotic. “It’s the busiest day of the year.”
Over in Williamsburg, Spike Hill is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with 17 hours of non-stop food. The bar will serve Irish specials including corned beef, fish and chips and shepherd’s pie. You’ll also get to enjoy the bar’s famed Irish breakfast which includes blood sausage and rashers.
For some traditional atmosphere with your traditional grub, head to Ceol, which will make you feel as if you’ve just stepped foot in a Dublin pub. The Cobble Hill restaurant has put together a true Irish feast for St. Patty’s Day. That means Guinness Irish beef stew, bangers and mash, and Guinness chocolate cake. There’s even a vegetarian shepherd’s pie for picky eaters.
From March 16-18, get your fill of beer and good grub as The Vanderbilt hosts a weekend homage to traditional Irish food with an American twist. Chef Saul Bolton’s feast includes house smoked salmon with a horseradish kick, followed by crispy fried eggs over signature blood sausage and hash; a slow roasted lamb shoulder with cabbage and potatoes; and Irish soda bread pain perdu to finish it off.
If free is your speed, head over to Cobble Hill’s Brazen Head at 5 pm on St. Patrick’s Day to take advantage of the bar’s free corned beef and coleslaw on rye bread, available until it runs out. You can also cough up and enjoy the bar’s $5 pint of Guinness and Irish whiskey shots.
“It’s a neighborhood bar with really good beer,” said manager Lou Sones. “It’s very crowded but fun crowded, not young amateurs.”
For dinner and show, you can’t go wrong with Buckley’s. The Marine Park restaurant goes all out on St. Patrick’s Day, with live music from Garavogue and Irish step dancing by the Hagen School of Irish Dance in the back, and live music in the bar area. And of course, the food will fit the day.
“We’ll have plenty of corned beef and cabbage, Irish lamb stew and shepherd’s pie to go around,” said owner Jimmy Buckley Jr.
Eamonn’s [174 Montague St. near Clinton Street in Brooklyn Heights, (718) 596-4969], open 11 am-4 am on March 17. Reservations recommended for groups larger than four; Spike Hill [184 Bedford Ave. at N. Seventh Street in Williamsburg, (718) 218-9739], open at 11 am on March 17; Ceol [191 Smith St. between Baltic and Bergen streets in Cobble Hill, (347) 643-9911], menu available from 1 pm to 2 am on March 17; The Vanderbilt [570 Vanderbilt Ave. at Bergen Street in Prospect Heights, (718) 623-0570], March 16-18, $35 prix fixe. Reservations encouraged; Brazen Head [228 Atlantic Ave. between Court Street and Boerum Place in Cobble Hill, (718) 488-0430], open at 11 am on March 17; Buckley’s [2926 Avenue S at Nostrand Avenue in Marine Park, (718) 998-4222], open starting at 11:30 am on March 17. Reservations required for the 7 pm dinner show.
Some of the best celebrations don’t even happen on St. Patrick’s Day. Here’s the lowdown on parades happening throughout Brooklyn:
• Park Slope Parade [starting at 15th Street and Prospect Park West, (718) 832-8227], March 20 at 1 pm. There will be an after party at Holy Name Hall with dinner and music.
• Gerritsen Beach Parade (starting at 84 Ebony Ct. between Bijou and Channel avenues in Gerritsen Beach, no phone), March 26 at 11 am. (Here’s hoping this year’s weather is better than last year’s!).
• Bay Ridge Parade (starting at Fourth and Marine avenues in Bay Ridge, no phone), March 27 at noon.