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Posted at 12:10 PM ET, 03/16/2005

Erin Go Bragh Humbug


After New Year's Eve, readers always write to us to grumble about the parties they went to at bars and clubs. Common complaints: Lines were too long; the bar was too packed to get a drink; there was nowhere to sit down; the rooms were too crowded, I couldn't get anything good to eat, etc., etc.

Those sound exactly like my complaints about most St. Patrick's Day events.

I've been to parties all over town in years past -- the Dubliner, the Irish Times, Nanny O'Brien's, Flanagan's, Biddy Mulligan's, Fado, the Four Courts -- but I rarely enjoy them. There's something about trying to drink a Guinness while crushed like sardines that just doesn't appeal to me, especially when the bar thoughtfully provides port-a-johns right outside the tent they've erected to squeeze even more bodies in. Even worse: Most places make you pay for this privilege, and then shut their kitchens down for the day. Drinking on an empty stomach -- not the best idea.

Don't get me wrong. I love hanging out at Nanny's with a pint listening to traditional Irish jam sessions, or sitting in one of the windows at Biddy Mulligan's and watching Dupont Circle go by. But on St. Patrick's Day? Forget it.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Would you wait 20-30 minutes and pay $10 to get into a crowded Ireland's Four Provinces on a Friday night if you knew there was nowhere to sit down, nothing to eat but cold corned beef sandwiches, and they were only taking cash at the bar?

Then why do so on St. Patrick's Day?

-- Fritz

By  | March 16, 2005; 12:10 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs  
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I think you may be missing the point. St. Pat's is all about discomfort. On the 18th do you want to hear stories of how your friends enjoyed a leisurely pint while seated in the leather armchair of a smoke-free pub? Of course not, you want to hear stories of alley-way relief, ruined clothes and improprieties toward co-workers. You want to hear about the hardships that accompanied each and every pint. That is St. Patrick's Day. enjoy!

Posted by: carapace | March 16, 2005 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Odd, no one says the same thing about Kwanza, Polaski Day, or Columbus Day. I agree with you completely Fritz.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 16, 2005 1:35 PM | Report abuse

That's why I will only be celebrating by wearing a bit of green. I'll go to a very non-Irish place to drink tomorrow night.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 16, 2005 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for saying this. I am an Irish citizen living in the US since I was 8 and St. Patricks Day here is a joke and highly annoying for the reasons you posted. This is coming from an Irish person who doesn't need a "day" to enjoy a drink.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 16, 2005 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Murphy's of Dc is less high profile and not so crazy

Posted by: Anonymous | March 16, 2005 5:42 PM | Report abuse

DCist has a write-up about St. Patrick's Day online now too, where they reference Fritz's post to the GOG blog:
And On Tap magazine now has this list online:

Posted by: more suggestions | March 17, 2005 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I've always said that New Years Eve and St. Patrick's Day are amateur drunk nights - like Valentine's Day is for amateur romantics! Why bother - I'm a pro!

Posted by: Tom | March 18, 2005 8:18 AM | Report abuse


I am planning a bachelorette party and need to find a nice trendy dance club to go to. Hip Hop music preferred. Can do without the ghetto crowd.


Posted by: Keila - Gaithersburg | March 24, 2005 1:52 PM | Report abuse

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