Saint Patrick’s Day means different things to many people. For some, it’s a special holiday, for others just another day. Being an Irish girl from New York City, (my mother’s maiden name was Crone), celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day was a tradition.
When I moved to the West Coast 10 years ago and St. Patrick’s Day rolled around, my LA friends assumed I had a drinking problem when I suggested meeting at an Irish bar at noon. In turn, I was baffled that they couldn’t recommend a local pub where a girl could enjoy some ‘corned beef and cabbage’ with her Guinness. It was then that it became my mission to find out where the Irish in LA celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, which is this Saturday, March 17.
Get into the spirit early at O’Brien’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, located at 2941 Main Street in Santa Monica. Doors open at 6 a.m. so you can start off the day with a Guinness and eggs along with white and black pudding, Irish sausage, Irish bacon, and baked beans.
O’Brien’s offers traditional Irish fare throughout the day such as delicious corned beef and cabbage, shepherds pie, fish and chips, bangers and mash, and a special Guinness beef stew. Just in case you haven’t had enough, enjoy a Guinness float for dessert. Live Irish music starts at 4 p.m. For more information, call 310.396.4725 or visit www.obriensonmain.com.
Just down the street at 2702 Main Street, Finn McCool’s Irish Pub is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Opening at 8 a.m., various Irish bands will start crooning at 1 p.m. The Drunken Monkeys perform from 9 p.m. until close. Classic Irish dishes will be served.
Owner Geraldine Gilliland, originally from Belfast boasts, “Saint Patrick’s Day allows us a great opportunity to celebrate our Irish traditions and culture with folk who are proud of their Irish ancestry. We’ve 17 draft beers, 200 whiskeys and an array of ‘kick-ass’ Irish cocktails, so our celebrations are as brilliant as only the Irish can make them.” For more information, call 310.452.1734 or visit www.finnmccoolsirishpub.com.
Also in Santa Monica, Sonny McLean’s Pub (2615 Wilshire Blvd., SM) celebrates with four bands and a bag piper starting at 10 a.m. Owner Grant Woods explains, “Out back we have a beer garden as well as 40 taps for beer and Guinness will be plentiful.”
For more information, call 310.449.1811 or visit www.sonnymcleans.com.
West 4th and Jane (1432 4th St.) offers free admission and a corned beef and cabbage slider special (three for $10) plus $5 Guinness beers all night.
Owners Keith O’Brien and Steve Lieberman remind us, “Since there are so many transplants on the west-side, many Irish and non-Irish drinkers love to come out and party.”
Enter its costume contest to win a free pint of Guinness and dinner for two.
For more information, call 310.395.6765 or visit http://west4thjane.com/.
One more Irish celebration not to be missed takes place at Brennan’s Pub, located at 4089 Lincoln Blvd. in Marina Del Rey. Complete with green beer, a beer garden, and live bands, the line begins to form by 4 p.m., so get there early. For more information, call 310.821.6622 or visit http://brennanspub-la.com.
All of these establishments offer traditional Irish food and live music. Most places charge $10 admission after 1 p.m.
Wear your green best, be safe, and have a fun Saint Patrick’s Day. Pick a designated driver, stay local, or take a taxi. Remember: if you’re lucky enough to be Irish, you’re lucky enough!