How Your Restaurant Can Stand Out This St. Paddy’s

By Dana Krook

Friends celebrating st. patrick's day together

It’s St. Patrick’s Day and your favorite Irish patron comes calling. “So now, what’s the craic?” How do you respond? “A crack? In the ceiling?” Not quite.

First things first, “Craic,” pronounced “crack,” is a common phrase used in Ireland meaning “What’s happening?”

Step one complete – but now, the hard part. What is happening at your restaurant on St Paddy’s? Cue the awkward silence.

While majority of restaurants will be running around last minute to get their green beer, ginormous felt hats, and shamrock pins in order, some pubs and restaurants will go to extreme measures to stand out from the rest.

Here are a few restaurants making the St Patrick’s Day drinking crowd proud and can act as inspiration for you when you’re cooking up your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Union Hall’s Drunktacular Comedy Show: New York

Poster advertising a st. paddy's party

For those looking for a laugh on St Patrick’s day, self-proclaimed roommates, holiday lovers and comedians, Griffin Newman and Joe Garden are hosting an event at Brooklyn’s Union Hall, a pub they otherwise call home. The goal of the evening? Make you laugh until your head falls off … and drink beer. The two comedians won’t take the stage alone. The event promises that contortionists and guitar slinging comedians will also drop in.

How You Can Pull It Off: The Irish will be the first to say they love to take the piss out of you – in other words, mock, and ridicule. It’s as entertaining to watch as it is to be the subject of. Hiring an Irish comedian for the night promises lots of teasing and a lot of laughs, sure to have the Guinness coming out of your nose.

Fadó’s Irish Pub’s Festival: Denver

fados st. paddy's ticket packages

On St Paddy’s flocks of “day-drinking warriors,” as Fado’s call them, will land at Denver’s Fadó Irish Pub to enjoy Irish dance, music, food trucks and “enough walk-up bars to put Bourbon Street to shame.” A mighty endeavour for the hardcore St Patrick’s Day party go-er.

How You Can Pull It Off: While Fadó’s seem’s to be abiding by the motto “go big or go home” with their rain or shine, drunk or drunker festival, you don’t have to host a block party to get St Paddy’s celebrations off and roaring. In fact, traditional Irish music festivals, like County Clare’s Willy Clancy Festival, are slightly less turned up. Picture this: You walk into a pub. In every room, artists bearing banjos, penny whistles, fiddles and accordions, gather round tables, their Guinness perched in front of them on the table as they improvise Irish Folk tunes. For a homier, less lofty festival, with a more intimate, authentic feel, hire a couple bands to play in the traditional fashion.

Fadó’s Irish Pub Whiskey Tasting: Chicago

Irish whiskey illustration

Fadó’s Chicago location is having a somewhat more subdued whiskey tasting party…Well, is anything really subdued when whiskey is involved? They’re promising 30 small batch tastings of both Irish and local whiskey, ryes and single malts including: Jameson, Teeling, Bushmill, Glendalough, Kinehans and The Irish Man.

How You Can Pull It Off: Get the whiskey lover on your team to brush up on their knowledge and choose a few whiskeys on your bar rail for tasting. On a smaller scale, you could even make a “whiskey taster special” and deliver samples to individual tables for a more personalized experience.

Howells & Hood Week Long Party: Chicago

St. paddy's food drink and entertainment advertisement

St Patrick’s Day? How about St. Patrick’s week?! Take it from Howells & Hood who’ve orchestrated an entire week of St Paddy’s activities. From an annual patio party, to food specials and activities, there’s no shortage of fun.

How You Can Pull It Off It’s as easy as making St Patrick’s Day a priority. Hosting a celebration and making an event out of the entire week brings in both the Jamo sculling, celebratory crowd, plus the more low key patrons who might not want the St Patrick’s Day debauchery but still want to partake in Irish fare on another day of the week. “Irish-ize” a few of your dishes or add some traditional items on a special menu, while, of course, getting creative with the main event (Photobooth?! We’re in!)

Tavern on the Green Literary After-Party: New York

Tavern on the green advert

Patrons don’t have to head all the way to Dublin to go on an authentic Irish literary journey. In 2016, the swanky Tavern on the Green celebrated Ireland’s literary contributions to the world, hosting a post-St Patrick’s Day parade event that featured live readings from Irish authors living and dead, paired with Irish music, soda bread, whiskey cake and bangers and mash.

How You Can Pull It Off: Irish culture is rich with both literature and storytelling. Go to any pub in Ireland and you might find yourself enthralled in a table side performance. You don’t have to be a fine dining venue in order to host a literary night; hiring an Irish storyteller or hosting a live reading is a great authentic and entertaining pairing for the otherwise cliche green brew.

So there you have it – all the inspiration you need to throw a St. Patrick’s day shindig your patrons will never forget. Cheers to that!

Photo of Dana Krook
by Dana Krook

Dana is the former Content Marketing Manager at TouchBistro, sharing tips for and stories of restaurateurs turning their passion into success. She loves homemade hot sauce, deep fried pickles and finding excuses to consume real maple syrup.

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