In Season: Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day
March 17 is the one day per year where it seems every person in the United States is of Irish descent — or at least “Irish for a Day.” To help you take advantage of everyone’s devotion to the holiday, we’ve compiled a list of some creative St. Patrick’s Day promotions. Tweak some of these suggestions to your liking and watch profits grow. Sláinte!
Operators Go Green
Toasting Tradition at Charlie’s Bar & Restaurant, Somers Point, N.J.
On St. Patrick’s Day, Charlie’s Bar & Restaurant will celebrate with bagpipers, beverages and traditional Irish meals: Irish Stew ($4.95), and lunches ($6.95) and dinners ($11.95) of glazed ham or cooked corned beef; both include steamed cabbage and red bliss parsley potatoes and Irish soda bread. Guests can also try the 4-Leaf Clover Platter, a combination of ham and corned beef. For beverages, guests can enjoy $3 drinks like the Nutty Irishman (Baileys Irish Cream & Frangelico Liqueur), Irish Coffee (Michael Collins Irish Whiskey and freshly brewed coffee) or the Toasted Irishman (ice cream, Kahlua and amaretto). www.charliesbar.com.
Dublin Meets Chicago at DMK Burger Bar
On March 17, Chicago’s DMK Burger Bar is planning a grand ol’ time, featuring Guinness Extra Stout and Jameson shots for $3. Additionally, Irish music begins at 10 p.m. with a showing of the 1991 film The Commitments, the story of the “world’s hardest working band,” set in Dublin, also on tap. www.dmkburgerbar.com.
Bottoms Up at Bar Louie, locations nationwide
Bar Louie venues across the country will offer Irish-themed specials leading up to the big day. From March 12-17, locations will feature $5 Irish Car Bombs, Naughty Irish School Girl cocktails, Jameson shots and Reuben sliders; $4 gets guests a pint of Guinness; and $1 cups of Guinness soup will keep guests warm. www.barlouieamerica.com.
Celtic Celebrations at Killarneys Irish Pub & Grill, Riverside and Temecula, Calif.
If “Irish” is in your venue’s name, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day is a no-brainer, and both locations of Killarneys Irish Pub & Grill plan to do the holiday right with a fenced-off parking lot, outside bars, Jagermeister ice luge, merchandise vendors and live music all day. At the Riverside location, performers include Vince Nolan, Might Regis, Galway Hooker and StereoFlux, while the Temecula locale will feature Randal Gobs & Friends, Galway Hooker, Blue Fish and BoxKutters. Both locations will have bagpipers all day, and Temecula will feature Irish dancers as well. The cover charge is $5 until 3 p.m.; $10 after 3 p.m. www.killarneys.com.
Top o’ the Day at Rams Head Restaurants, locations in Maryland
At 2 p.m. on March 17, Rams Head Restaurants in Maryland will start the St. Patrick’s Day celebration with 50 cent Guinness draft beers from 2-3 p.m., reduced price drink specials, $2 green beer, giveaways, live bands and themed food specials. Rams Head Tavern in Annapolis and the Rams Head Roadhouse will both feature a tent party. Food specials include Irish stew (cubed lamb simmered with mixed vegetables in lamb broth), slow-cooked corned beef with cabbage and potatoes, bangers and mash, fish ‘n’ chips sandwich, shepherd’s pie and more. www.ramsheadtavern.com.
Irish Hooley at Lew’s Grill & Bar and The Well Bar Grill & Rooftop, Kansas City, Mo.
Every March 17, brothers Chris and Andy Lewellen transform the Waldo neighborhood of Kansas City into the city’s largest St. Patrick’s Day Hooley. Their venues, Lew’s Grill & Bar and The Well Bar Grill & Rooftop, will join forces this year for the “Lew’s & The Well Irish Hooley,” offering live music in both bars for one cover charge. Festivities start with breakfast at 8 a.m. at Lew’s, and corned beef and cabbage will be served at both venues starting at 11 a.m. The city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade can be viewed on one of the 40 high-definition TVs, and live music starts at 2 p.m. at Lew’s and 3 p.m. at The Well. Live entertainment includes Jonathon Ramsey, The Kelihans, Rattle & Hum (U2 Cover Band) & D.J. Lew & D.J. Well. Pre-sale tickets are $5; $10 at the door. www.lewsgrillandbar.com.
Green Bikinis at Bamboo Willie's Beachside Bar, Pensacola, Fla.
Every year, Bamboo Willie's kicks off Spring Break with its annual All Green Bikini Contest and a beach pub crawl on St. Patrick's Day. This year's sponsor is Guinness. www.bamboowillies.com.
Get Shamrocked with Midori
Midori Melon Liqueur, the perfect color for this holiday, offers a Get Shamrocked kit featuring all the necessities for a St. Patty’s Day celebration. It includes 12 bowler hats, two banners, 20 light-up shamrock necklaces, six “Get Shamrocked” T-shirts, 10 table tents, 20 headbands, a sell sheet/poster and a large tote bag to promote the event. Additionally, Midori is promoting the Shamrock Shooter:
Courtesy of Midori.
2 parts Midori Melon Liqueur
½ part Carolans Irish Cream
½ part Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a shot glass.
"Kiss Me, I'm Asian," says TY KU Asian Wine & Spirits
TY KU Asian Wines & Spirits gets you in the mood for one of the biggest drinking days of the year with festive drinks. For example, the traditional Irish Car Bomb gets an Asian twist in the Irish Sake Bomb (TY KU Sake and Guinness). Or try out one of the cocktails pictured below, from the Irish Happy Ending to the Naughty Leprechaun.
Testing Knowledge with PubStumpers Trivia League – St. Patrick’s Day Edition
St. Patrick’s Day is one day each year when guests flock to bars early, and the key to getting them to stay late is to keep them engaged. To assist you, PubStumpers Trivia League presents its St. Patrick’s Day Edition. “We'll put their knowledge of all things Irish to the test, while you award bonny prizes, then later, count all the shillings they throw into your coffers,” the company says. www.PubStumpers.comor (866) 512.7246.
Green is the Word with EZ-Squeeze Jell-O Shot Cups and EZ-Inject Jell-O Shot Syringes
Pittsburgh’s Royal Penn Products offers Jell-O shot injectors and the flexible, squeezable, 2-ounce Jell-O shot cups that can be reused or simply thrown away after use. Consumers can drink the shot in full rather than loosening with a finger or spoon. For a St. Pattie's day twist, offer green Jell-O shot specials in EZ-Squeeze products. www.ez-squeeze.com or www.ez-inject.com.
Give Guests a Taste of the Luck of the Irish with Lugez
Lugez offers a four-leaf clover mold to add a bit of shamrock fun to your St. Patrick’s Day party. You can also purchase a green LED light to add to the mold. Lugez’s patented mold system allows customers to create a professional, drinkable ice sculpture or ice luge. After purchasing a mold, fill with water and freeze. After about 48 hours, the mold will be frozen and ready to use. www.lugez.com.
Shamrock Stir Sticks from SSP Inc.
To add a bit of green to cocktails, SSP Inc. offers 6-inch shamrock stir sticks, available in one-color, translucent and assorted colors. Commercial and retail packs as well as bio/oxo-degradable versions are available. Additionally, the stir sticks can be branded for the special event. www.stirsticks.com.