LongBow Pub celebrates St. David’s Day with leeks and daffodils

St. David’s Day: Waitress and barkeep Claire Bankston doesn’t skimp on the cheer during a celebration at LongBow’s Pub and Pantry for the patron saint of Wales.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus — or “Happy St. David’s Day!”

Ex-pats pinned themselves with leeks and daffodils and made a beeline for New York’s only Welsh taproom — LongBow Pub and Pantry in Bay Ridge — where they waited gladly for seating room in a packed house to celebrate the feast day of Wales’s number one boyo.

The watering hole on Third Avenue and 73rd Street didn’t welch on the cheer for the patron saint: a special menu for the March 1 bash bubbled over with traditional treats — potato leak soup, Welsh rarebit, and lamb with mint sauce, anyone? — washed down with Penderyn Sherrywood whisky and ales from Tomos Watkin’s.

The playlist was Welsh-friendly, too, with lilting offerings by Duffy, Cate Le Bon, Stereophonics, Manic Street Preachers, Catatonia, and “Mr. Tight Pants,” himself — Tom “It’s Not Unusual” Jones.

LongBow’s reputation as an oasis for a good pint, pub grub, friendly chitchat, and televised soccer and rugby matches paid off handsomely, with revelers traveling in from across the city and beyond for the infectious knees-up, said Jennifer Colbert, who owns and operates the establishment with her Welsh-born hubby, Michael.

“We had people come in from Manhattan, Staten Island, and Long Island, I’ve never seen so many Welsh jerseys in one place without a rugby game going on!” she laughed.

The festivities delighted regulars like Buddy Kayser, too.

“I had good food, a lot of laughs — I’m always happy when I leave,” said the elevator constructor who lives in the area.

News of LongBow’s Cymru charm also reached Welsh government, which sent over a boatload of promotional items to attract visitors to the quaint United Kingdom nation where vowels are in short supply, and where women proudly wear their national dress — a red cloak and tall black hat — to the grocery store.

“They sent us pins, flags, flowers, all sorts of things — this is our St. Patrick’s Day,” said Colbert, who marked the jolly occasion by prominently displaying the imposing Welsh pennant — a red dragon against a green and white background.

Reach reporter Shavana Abruzzo at sabruzzo@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2529.

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