Celebrating St. Patty’s Day: The Brooklyn Way

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 5.18.14 PMMarch has rolled back around and people everywhere are getting ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Both a cultural and religious celebration acknowledged around the world, it’s celebrated in more countries than any other national festival. Whether you’re of Irish descent or not, and it seems like everyone is a little Irish on March 17th, it’s a day filled with fun and festivities. If you want to get in on the fun there are numerous things to do in Brooklyn, a borough once known for it’s large Irish population.

With a long history that dates back before Prohibition in the 1920’s, the neighborhood once known as “Irishtown” (roughly located between the Brooklyn Navy Yard and the Manhattan bridge, portions of which are currently known as Vinegar Hill) may no longer be in existence, but neighborhoods such as Bay Ridge and the combined areas of Park Slope and Windsor Terrace still reflect some of the borough’s Irish origins.

The celebration extends past the 17th with not one but three local St. Patrick Day parades along with numerous traditional Irish bars where you can toast with a pint of guinness. Grab your family and friends and be ready for some bagpipes, kilts, lots of green, and of course a good time!

If it’s drinks you’re looking for here are some pubs to check out:

  • The Wicked Monk – 9510 3rd Avenue – Located in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, this neighborhood pub transports you back to a Gothic Irish Monastery when you walk through the door. The bar with its original wood and stained glass were shipped directly from the chapel in Greenmount Monastery (Gallows Green), Cork, Ireland, which was built in 1897, replacing a monastery, which stood on the site previously since 800 AD.

The Wicked Monk

  • The Harp – 7710 3rd Avenue – A friendly and causal Irish pub in Bay Ridge that boosts both a fireplace and a backyard beer garden for the nights you just want to be outside.
  • Farrell’s – 215 Prospect Park West – Located in Windsor Terrace Farrell’s has been a staple in the neighborhood since 1933, the year prohibition was repealed.

Farrell's

  • Peggy O’Neill’s – 1904 Surf Avenue – Once located in Bay Ridge, this Coney Island establishment offers both in and outdoor seating along with live music, DJs, and of course a selection of lager.
  • Irish Haven – 5721 4th Avenue – This old school Irish bar in Sunset Park was the location where Scorsese shot the infamous “cranberry juice” scene from the movie, “The Departed.”

Irish Haven

If a parade is on the agenda here’s what’s in store this year:

  • Saturday, March 18th at 1pm, Gerritsen Beach – The 8th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will gather at the VFW Post #107 at Gerritsen Avenue and Whitney Avenue.
  • Sunday, March 19th at 1pm, Park Slope Patrick’s Day Parade – The parade runs from Prospect Park West and 15th Street, then down 15th Street to 7th Avenue to Garfield Place, then to Prospect Park West back to the starting point.
  • Sunday, March 26th at 1pm, Bay Ridge St. Patrick’s Day – The parade will form at Saint Patrick’s Church at the corner of 95th Street and Fifth Avenue, then head to Marina Ave at 11am, and will begin at 1pm. Marchers will travel north bound on 3rd Avenue from Marine Ave to 94th St., then proceed onto 5th Avenue traveling north bound to 67th Street.

Scenery

iSpy the Irish in Bay Ridge

Before the Declaration of Independence and more than 250 years ago, New York City had its first St Patrick’s Day Parade. In the lead up to the March 17th tradition, we’re revealing out top picks in Brooklyn’s “Little Ireland”, Bay Ridge.

150311 - Irish Haven

A stroke of Guinness
If on your nights out you prefer to breakout the tunes and not break the bank, Irish Haven by be the place for you. It’s hard to beat their Taco Tuesdays and Wings Wednesday where the side bites come free with drinks. Reviews on Yelp show it’s down to Earth, very affordable (the pool is free!) and has a great mix of customers. As one reviewer put it, “This part of town hasn’t jumped on the gentrification bandwagon yet. This pub is a trip. It’s a great mix of townies, tourists, newbies, and hipsters.”

150311 - Celtic Rose

Kiss from a Celtic rose
An intriguing menu, pink shopfront and pink delivery bicycle out the automatically put Celtic Rose Tea Room in a league of its own. This place exudes an authentic Irish experience. You’ll no doubt be served by a member of the family and everything from the soft Irish accent to the delicious Jameson cheesecakes and Baileys cupcakes will remind you of where you are. They have private rooms for events and a personal touch is added to tea cups, tea pots, tea cozies, roses and table centrepieces to create something unforgettable. As for the pink décor? The owner tells us pink was a color of defiance when the English tried to create uniformity in Ireland and homeowners painted their front doors pink.

150311 - Wicked Monk

A wicked pitch in Brooklyn
Keeping things local and not succumbing to New York City’s big brand commercial takeover seems to be a theme in Brooklyn’s south. With live music from local bands plus a pool table and dart board, it’s easy to see why The Wicked Monk is a favorite watering hole. The constantly changing menu keeps things fresh and prices are always reasonable. Our go-to is their lobster mac & cheese. Their mosaic offering sees hodgepodge Irish décor mixed in with old church furniture. Surprisingly their Bingo night brings in customers of all sorts for a busy lively night (without a compromise to customer service!).

150311 - 3 jolly pigeons

A jolly step back in time
If you prefer Schindler’s List over a club’s guest list – Three Jolly Pigeons will make you feel right at home. The multi-talented venue has equal sentiments of pub, saloon and neigborhood institution,. They first opened shop in the 1900s! With stain glass partitions (historically used to separate the male and female guests!), rich wood and gothic molding, this place doesn’t exactly ‘screen’ high-tech but it does now have touch screen games, flat screen televisions and a digital jukebox littered throughout. While there’s no happy hour, their drinks on tap would be considered cheap by any measure. The musical offering both on karaoke Fridays and live bands tends to be a mainstream mix, but amongst the Police and Aerosmith tunes , at least you know what you’re getting.