After-Work Pub Picks
Top taverns for Guinness, corned beef and cabbage, and more.
 
Irish-Enclave Bar Crawls
Spend the night with the Irish in Woodside and Woodlawn.
 
 Irish Gigs
Because to really get your Irish on, you need music...
 
 Parade Pointers
Everything you need to know, including the best viewing areas.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Pub Picks

Top taverns for grabbing a pint—and a plate of corned beef and cabbage—on the Big Night.
 
BY E. J. SAMSON & CARLA SPARTOS
 
 The afterwork crowd at Connolly's.
 
= Traditional Irish Fare
 
Midtown & Uptown
 
Connolly's Pub & Restaurant
The W. 45th St. branch of this midtown chain of spacious Irish pubs is most notable for being the local home of Black 47, one of the city's best-loved bar bands. The politically-conscious pub-rockers are performing at Knitting Factory St. Patty's night, but expect plenty of the same raucous energy in their absence.
Take note: A limited menu of Irish specialties, including corned beef and cabbage, is served; live Irish bands (Shilelagh Law and Gael Force) perform from noon to the wee hours at the W. 45th St. and 14 E. 47th St. locations.
• 121 W. 45th St., between Sixth Ave. and Broadway; 212-597-5126; connollyspubandrestaurant.com
• 150 E. 47th St., between Lexington and Third Aves.; 212-692-9342
• 44 W. 54th St., between Fifth and Sixth Aves.; 212-489-0271
• 14 E. 47th St., between Fifth and Madison Aves.; 212-867-3767

George Keeley's
Thanks to a pub vibe but lounge-like outfitting, George Keeley's is an Upper West Side hotspot. The bar's popular parade after-party features traditional Irish comfort food, as well as imported Irish beers (in addition to their already impressive 22 taps), so stay clear of the dart board.
Take note: In past years, pipers and drummers stopped by post-parade for an additional show. This year green-tinted Dogfish Head beer will be on offer.
• 485 Amsterdam Ave., between 83rd and 84th Sts.; 212-873-0251 or georgekeeley.com

Kennedy's
From the traditional Irish menu (baked stuffed clams, important Irish smoked salmon, fish and chips) to the brogue-toting staff, Kennedy's is as authentic as they come.
Take note:
Live music (guitar players and singers).
• 327 W. 57th St., between Eighth and Ninth Aves.; 212-759-4242

Kinsale Tavern
Patrons can tune into the big game (hurling will be broadcast live from the homeland) and feed the jukebox all night long at this neighborly Upper East Side pub.
Take note: Specials include lamb stew and a full Irish breakfast. A live DJ will be on board for those pulling an all-nighter.
• 1672 Third Ave., between 93rd and 94th Sts.; 212-348-4370

Langan's
If it's a good enough after-work spot—OK, office—for soused New York Post columnist Steve Dunleavy, then it's good enough for us. Just don't make the mistake of sitting in his stool (you know, the one next to his etched likeness). Ask the bartender to pour you a milky green shot with a name too crass to print here.
Take note: Langan's will feature a special menu with dishes like Langan's-stout-and-onion soup, Irish lamb stew, and Galway Bay fish and chips, as well as beers like Guinness, Harp, and Smithwick's, a smooth ale with "a surprising kick," explains the bar. Also expect a pipe band to make a couple of marches through the premises.
• 150 W. 47th St., between Sixth and Seventh Aves.; 212-869-5482 or langans.com

O'Flaherty's Ale House
This Restaurant Row megapub isn't just another tourist outpost: There's an enormous rectangular bar, a garden area for smokers, a pool table and dart board, two fireplaces, and plenty of warm atmosphere. Plus lots of tap beers available by the pitcher, and Murphy's Stout pie, too.
Take note: Live bands boost the festivities; a special menu—including Irish stew, corned beef and cabbage, and Irish soda bread—is also featured.
• 334-336 W. 46th St., between Eighth and Ninth Aves.; 212-581-9366 or oflahertysnyc.com

Paddy Reilly's Music Bar
Paddy Reilly's prides itself on its roster of musicians—from the Friday night "jig–punk rock" of the Prodigals to the Irish ballads of, well, Paddy Reilly. Even Black 47 and the Chieftains have played here. Oh, yeah, and all the bar's taps pour Guinness, which means a shorter beer backlog while all those pints properly settle.
Take note: There's a $10 cover charge for an all-day line-up of live music, including local Irish- and American-folk band Random Folk (noon to 5 p.m.).
• 519 Second Ave., at 29th St.; 212-686-1210 or paddyreillys.com

The Parlour
Who said pubs have to be dark and cramped? The Parlour sets itself apart with its spacious layout—there are two bars and a separate dining room, along with a pool table and dance floor.
Take note: Sure there's traditional Irish fare like bangers and mash, but for the health-conscious, there are salads and other light eats.
• 250 W. 86th St., between Broadway and West End Ave.; 212-580-8923

P.D. O’Hurley’s Pub & Restaurant
Thanks to its landmarked and therefore untouchable exterior, P.D. O’Hurley’s appears from the outside to be more of a dive bar than a sophisticated Irish-American pub. But inside, where there are cozy banquettes and tasteful Tiffany-style hanging lamps, the mood is decidedly more mature. Sixteen different drafts complement the traditional Irish menu.
Take note: Bagpipers will be stopping by all day long.
• 174 W. 72nd St., between Amsterdam and Columbus Aves.; 212-873-1900

Rocky Sullivan's
This activist-oriented Irish bar is co-owned by musician Chris Byrne and journalist Patrick Farrelly, and hosts forward-thinking cultural events, from Irish language classes to Wednesday-night readings to weekly performances by Byrne's Celtic rap band Seanchai.
Take note: No special events for St. Pat's—it'll be too packed.
• 129 Lexington Ave., between 28th and 29th Sts.; 212-725-3871 or rockysullivans.com

Stout NYC
The newly-opened cellar bar brings Stout’s total to five, which offer 130 different bottled beers and 22 on tap.
Take note: Celtic-rock band and Stout favorite Seythian takes the stage at 4pm. Pipe bands will also be stopping by after the parade.
• 133 W. 33rd St., between Sixth and Seventh Aves.; 212-629-6191 or stoutnyc.com

Thady Con's
With their preponderance of shining brass and wood paneling, most midtown pubs come off as franchises rather than neighborhood watering holes. Enter this quaint, homey tavern that seems transported from the Irish countryside, with a popular quiz night, as well as live music five nights a week.
Take note: Large crowds will prohibit bands from performing. It's not like you'd be able to hear them anyway.
• 915 Second Ave., between 48th and 49th Sts.; 212-688-9700

The Wheeltapper Pub
The Wheeltapper—located in the Fitzpatrick-Grand Central Hotel—has ordered 200 pounds of corned beef to serve up this year.
Take note: On St. Paddy’s Eve, the bar will host St. Baldrick’s, an event in which people raise money for charity by getting their heads shaved. This year, Cyndi Lauper assumes the guest barber duties. Also on the 16th, The Wheeltapper will present the Best-Looking Red-Head contest, with the winner receiving dinner for two and a free night’s stay in the hotel (with the first 20 entrants winning two-for-one entrees). Then on the 17th, Irish dancers will perform, beginning at 6pm.
• 141 E. 44th St., between Third and Lexington Aves.; 212-351-6800

 
Downtown & Brooklyn
 

The Full Shilling
The Shilling's lustrous bar is over 100 years old, and was actually shipped to the Financial District from a bar in Belfast. And for the Wall Streeters who stream into this polished pub for an afterwork tipple, there's even a private "snug" at the end of the bar with its own service hatch.
Take note: A uillean pipes-and-fiddle combo will play the bar all day starting at noon; the 130-seat restaurant will feature a special menu, including corned beef and cabbage, beef stew, and shepherd's pie.
• 160 Pearl St., at Wall St.; 212-422-FULL or thefullshilling.com

Mr. Dennehy’s
This back-to-basics bar may forego some of the distractions of typical Irish pubs—like dartboards and pool tables—but it does boast five plasma-screen TVs that will be screening the parade.
Take note: After the parade, the 70-member St. Joseph’s Pipe Band from Cork City will stop by to entertain.
• 63 Carmine St., between Seventh Ave. So. and Bedford St.; 212-414-1223

Nancy Whiskey Pub
One of the great downtown dives, Nancy Whiskey has top-notch bartenders who like to sing along to the jukebox (Leonard Cohen is a popular choice, although they've got traditional Irish tunes, too) while keeping the customers satisfied with dependable buybacks and the odd whiskey tutorial.
Take note: Expect lots of Irish songs blaring from the aforementioned jukebox; the bar will also serve corned beef and cabbage while giving away green hats and leis.
• 1 Lispenard Street, at Sixth Ave. and W. Broadway; 212-226-9943 or nancywhiskeypub.com

Nexus
Terry Dunne’s downstairs lounge is going all out this St. Patrick’s Day, with Irish fare like bubble and squeak (a croquette of potato, cabbage and bacon with gravy), corned beef sandwiches on Irish soda bread, and fried Mars bars. Specialty drinks include Irish Car Bombs, Irish Coffee and $3 shots of Baby Guinness (Kahlua and Bailey’s Irish Cream).
Take note: Brian Conway, a two-time all-Ireland fiddle champion, takes the stage at 4pm.
• 76 E. 1st St., at First Ave.; 212-598-9126

Spike Hill
Named after the owner's parents' farm in Galway, Ireland, Spike Hill is as authentically Irish as you can get on Williamsburg's trendy Bedford Avenue strip. Chef Brett Ackerman whips up a limited Irish menu, including a traditional Irish breakfast (at any hour) and hot dogs for the Irishman on the go.
Take note: St. Paddy's Day marks the pub's two-year anniversary, and free bacon and cabbage will be provided to patrons all day. Jukebox Irish music will play all day.
• 184 Bedford Ave., between N. 6th and N. 7th Sts.; Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-218-9737

Ulysses'
This 130-foot Financial District bar is almost as sprawling as James Joyce's masterpiece. And co-owner Danny McDonald knows a thing or two about pouring Guinness—he owns the venerated Swift Hibernian Lounge and Puck Fair, and a bus sometimes shuttles free-wheeling patrons to all three.
Take note: The menu will emphasize Irish fare, including corned beef and cabbage. Plus, the Emeralds will play Irish rock at 9 p.m.
• 58 Stone St., at Pearl St.; 212-482-0400

Water Street Restaurant & Lounge
If you want to avoid the large (and rowdy) city crowds, head over the Brooklyn Bridge to DUMBO's Water Street Restaurant. This pub has three party spaces and dozens of beer selections—and it's unlikely you'll run into any green face-painted out-of-towners.
Take note: There will be a special St. Patrick's Day menu (including traditional dishes like corned beef and cabbage, fish and chips, and an Irish breakfast) as well as performances: Irish music on Friday and burlesque and bands on Saturday.
• 66 Water St., between Dock and Main Sts.; DUMBO, Brooklyn; 718-625-9352 or waterstreetrestaurant.com


Woody McHale’s
Though corned beef is on the usual menu at this tavern owned by partners in nearby Frank’s Restaurant, the $4.95 corned beef and cabbage is a one-day-only St. Paddy’s special.
Take note: Drink specials include $4.50 Guinness Draft pints and $3 Sam Adams Light bottles.
• 234 W. 14th St., between Seventh and Eighth Aves.; 212-206-0430 or woodymchales.com


 

Additional reporting by Joe DeLessio and Laurel Fantauzzo
Updated March 13, 2006
 
 
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