Dublin natives Frank and Jim McLoughlin own four establishments in metro Denver that help keep Irish pub culture alive in this city. Since opening the Irish Snug on East Colfax Avenue in 2003, the brothers have added McLoughlin's, Maggie Smith's and Slattery's to their roster. On the evening of St. Paddy's Day, U2 cover band Under a Blood Red Sky will perform at the Snug in a benefit show for the American Cancer Society; other bands and dancers will entertain the green-clad masses throughout the day, beginning at 1:30 p.m. For a slightly less overwhelming party, McLoughlin's (2100 16th Street), will also kick things off at 1:30 p.m. with traditional Irish music, pipe and drum bands and stepdancing troupes. Folks in the suburbs needn't feel left out; Slattery's, in the Landmark development in the DTC, will have similar entertainment from noon to 10:30, while farther south, you can hear the bagpipes wail at Maggie Smith's in Centennial from 1:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Here are eight other bars and restaurants hosting St. Patrick's Day fun, from the traditional to the unconventional.
Brunch on a Friday: Why didn't someone think of this sooner? Whether they're Irish or not, many Denverites are turning St. Patrick's Day into the start of a three-day weekend, so kick it off in style with brunch at Beast + Bottle, which will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Settle in for B+B favorites like the fig-and-pig flatbread and pork-shoulder tostadas, or opt for Irish-themed eats like a corned beef and cabbage sandwich with potato aioli on Marczyk rye bread ($15). Beverage director Jon Feuresanger will be stirring up the “Takin Care of Guinness” cocktail: Redbreast 12-year whiskey, Plantation pineapple rum, Guinness, coconut milk and black walnut. If you can't get out of work on Friday, the fun will continue for Saturday and Sunday brunch as well. Reservations are recommended; call 303-623-3223 or go to the Beast + Bottle website.
If wedging into a crowd of revelers swilling green suds from plastic cups is beneath your dignity, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse (8100 East Orchard Road) will take a more sophisticated approach to toasting the Emerald Isle. The posh steakhouse will offer several Irish-themed cocktails: The Irish Gentleman ($13), made with Gentleman Jack, lemon juice, simple syrup and orange bitters; the Irish Joe ($9), made with Bushmills Black, heavy cream and fresh brewed coffee; and the Bush Mule ($14), a blend of Bushmills Red Bush and ginger beer.
Larkburger is joining in on the festive fun with St. Patties Day (no, that's not a typo), offering an extra burger patty on any purchased burger, regular or small. The deal will help fill you up for your night of Guinness quaffing to come and is available at all Larkburger locations all day, except from 3 to 5 p.m.
Keep reading for five more Irish ideas.
Punch Bowl Social proclaims “Céad míle fáilte!" — that’s “one hundred thousand welcomes” in Irish. With so many distractions at this Broadway gastro-tainment destination (bowling, karaoke and classic video games, to name a few), it's easy to forget that the bar specializes in large-format punch bowls for groups. On Friday, you and your friends can enjoy the Irish Puddin’, prepared with Jameson Irish Whiskey, mint currant syrup, Teakoe spiced plum tea and a splash of lemon juice. Punch Bowl Social is open on St. Patrick’s Day at 11 a.m., for those of you who have proclaimed it an official holiday from your day jobs.
While the rest of the Ballpark neighborhood goes mad, Vesta is an oasis of calm in the St. Patrick's Day storm. Vesta bar manager, Irish lass Kari Cummings, will class up things with Green Chartreuse to evoke the spirit of Ireland in a barrel-aged cocktail called the Diamondback, which also includes Woody Creek Rye, Laird’s applejack brandy and dashes of angostura and orange bitters. The Diamondback is hardly traditional, but it's sure to put a smile in your Irish eyes.
Don't skip your corned beef and cabbage this year: At Del Frisco's Grille, the classic Irish dish comes in the form of crunchy egg rolls from executive chef Dan Kane. Check out other Saint Patrick's Day deals, including a $7 VIP special, which you can sip on the rooftop patio if the weather cooperates.
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For a well-rounded feast of Irish classics, head to Racines, which will have St. Paddy's Day treats for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Start your day with an order of car-bomb pancakes loaded with Jameson whiskey-whipped butter, Bailey's whipped cream and Guinness maple syrup. If that's too early for you, lunch and dinner specials include Irish cabbage rolls stuffed with Colorado lamb, onions and mushrooms, served with colcannon potatoes, carrots and Irish stout brown gravy; corned beef and cabbage topped with stout and orange glaze; Irish-coffee cheesecake; and a few luck-infused cocktails and $6 pours of O’Hara’s Irish Stout.
Solitaire is going green on Friday with a few bar-only food and drink specials, including stuffed cabbage with house sausage, basmati rice and roasted tomato; and emerald eggs with smoked ham, watercress and scallions. Tip back Car Bombs, Shamrock Floats, Lucky Leprechauns, Jameson Irish Whiskey and other St. Paddy's Day specials.
Know of any other St. Patrick's Day deals? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.