Get your green on: Here’s where to find St. Patrick’s Day drink specials, live music, Irish fare and more.
By Maxwell White
Get ready for green beer flowing from area bars, restaurants and more this St. Patrick’s Day. The holiday falls on a Saturday this year, which means you won’t have to take the day off to start celebrating at 7 a.m. If you’re ready to throw on the green, avoid a pinch and become Irish for a day, here are some of the best bars in Metro Detroit to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
The Old Shillelagh
349 Monroe St., Detroit
The Old Shillelagh is the go-to bar for those who want to revel in St. Patrick’s Day in Metro Detroit. After more than 40 years of operation, the bar is considered a staple of Greektown. John Brady, the original owner, was a retired Detroit police officer who was raised in Dublin. So it’s no surprise he knows how to throw a good party. The festivities span three floors, with live Irish music and a DJ spinning dance music. There’s also a massive outdoor tent if the bar gets too packed or you need a breath of fresh air. Doors open at 7 a.m., and cover is $15. An armband gets you in and out all day long.
O’Connor’s Public House
324 S. Main St., Rochester
O’Connor’s Public House in the heart of downtown Rochester may have the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Metro Detroit. Billed as the “longest running and biggest party in Oakland County,” doors open at 7 a.m. A $15 cover charge is good for all-day re-entry. Dimitry Goyfman, general manager, says there will be three bars inside and three bars outside. But don’t worry about being cold; the bars out back are inside a 10,000-square-foot heated tent with a clear roof. Live Irish music will play on the inside stage, while rock and other party music will be in the tent. Get there early for the free Irish breakfast buffet 7-10 a.m. The food menu will feature corned beef sandwiches, burgers, pretzels and corned beef and cabbage.
279 W. 9 Mile, Ferndale
When it comes to Ferndale, Rosie O’Grady’s is the spot to be on St. Patrick’s Day. Doors open at 6 a.m. with a $10 cover that gets you in all day. The drinks don’t begin flowing until 7 a.m. That’s also when the $10 breakfast buffet starts with a $5 mimosa and bloody mary bar. The party will continue all day long with a heated tent outside complete with live music and DJs. They’re also keeping a separate room open for family seating in case you want to bring the whole clan.
McShane’s Irish Pub & Whiskey Bar
1460 Michigan Ave., Detroit
Located in Detroit’s Irish neighborhood of Corktown, McShane’s is the place for those who love whiskey. Bob Roberts, one of the bar’s partners, says they’ll have plenty of beer and shot specials on Guinness, Black and Tans and more. Being a whiskey bar, Roberts adds they’ll have about 60 different Irish whiskies for people to taste. McShane’s will also have live Irish music playing all day long, with the Metro Detroit Police and Fire Pipes and Drums making periodic appearances. Doors open at 7 a.m., and there is no cover all day.
Gaelic League Irish American Club
2068 Michigan Ave., Detroit
If you’re searching for authenticity on St. Patrick’s Day, look no further than the Gaelic League in Corktown. “You won’t find any green beer at the Gaelic League,” President Roxanne LaPuma says. “We are true Irish and don’t drink green beer.” The Gaelic League will be serving hot dogs, corned beef and ham, Irish stew and brown bread.
Expect live music all day with their regular house bands, plus a performer named Dominik Hruby, who’s coming from Ireland. The cost of admission will be $10 for the public and free for members.
St. Patrick’s Day Festivities
Detroit St. Patrick’s Day Parade
What: 60th annual Detroit St. Patrick’s Day Parade
When: Sunday, March 11 at 12:30 p.m.
Where: Along Michigan Avenue in Corktown. The route starts near 6th Street and Michigan Avenue and ends at 14th Street and Michigan Avenue.
What: St. Patrick’s Day Corktown Races featuring a mile run, 5k, 5k and 1 mile, and kids’ quarter-mile race
When: March 11 at 9:30 a.m.
Where: Corktown near Michigan and Vernor
Price: $15 for kids quarter- mile, $20 for Emerald Mile, $35 for 5k and $45 for Dublin Double (5k and 1 mile)