St. Patrick’s Day in South Florida is a time for warm Irish authenticity when legions of bagpipers swarm our pubs, Guinness pints are tinted emerald-green and, yes, hipster beards get a shamrock sheen.
OK, perhaps that’s not so authentic. Still, at Irish pubs from Fort Lauderdale to West Palm Beach to Miami, you’ll find many occasions to drink your Irish faces off – especially if you’re not Irish. Here, for one day only, beer-mug sunglasses and Leprechaun hats are mandatory attire. Black pudding and soda bread somehow taste better. And, through the fog of an all-St. Paddy’s bender, you’re not quite sure how that shillelagh wound up in your hands.
Of course, St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Tuesday in 2020, so conduct your Irish shenanigans accordingly.
The best way to win on St. Pat’s? Call ahead last-minute for drink specials. And think smart: Find a designated driver, hail a ride-share or use AAA’s free Tow-to-Go program. The program (details: AAA.com/TowtoGo) will offer a “confidential” ride for anyone drug- or alcohol-impaired, plus their car, to a safe location within 10 miles of pickup from 6 p.m. March 16 until 6 a.m. March 18. It’s free for members and nonmembers. Call 855-286-9246 (855-2-TOW-2-GO).
Here are 20 Irish pubs where drinking green beer is socially acceptable.
The Wharf Fort Lauderdale
20 W. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-372-7606 or WharfFTL.com
What’s the craic at the Wharf? Leprechaun sightings are promised (slainte!) at this sprawling open-air marketplace hugging the banks of Fort Lauderdale’s New River, and so are freebies. A pre-St. Patty’s festival March 12-15, hosted by Jameson, will pour free pints of Green Wharf Lager (noon-midnight March 12, noon-3 a.m. March 13, noon-midnight March 15) with purchase of Jameson cold brew, and free Guinness pints (noon-3 a.m. March 14) with purchase of a whiskey shot. RSVP via Eventbrite.com for “free St. Patrick’s swag,” whatever that means, although we prefer if they substituted “swag” for’ beer.”
Duffy’s Sports Grill
Multiple locations from Miami to West Palm Beach; DuffysMVP.com
Duffy’s, that crucible of cultural mishmashing with countless local pubs, will have $4 Guinness pints, $5 Jameson shots and a concoction called “Lucky Duffy,” a blend of Jameson, Bundaberg ginger beer, bitters and a splash of lemonade. (If your name happens to be “Duffy,” or you somehow have a Duffy’s-themed tattoo, that cocktail will be free.)
Waxy’s Irish Pub
1095 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale; 954-525-9299 or WaxysPub.com
After eight months of upgrades and fresh coats of paint on the busy 17th Street corridor, Waxy’s reopened last April, missing last year’s St. Patrick’s Day party by two weeks. Haven’t been since the facelift? Now’s your chance: The pub will open at the crack of 8 a.m. with an Irish breakfast, and covered tents outside will handle overflow crowds. Live bands will perform at noon and 6 p.m. Asked what drink specials may be served, owner Mark Rohleder laughs and says, “None. We’re a real Irish pub.” Right on.
The Brass Tap Fort Lauderdale
551 N. Federal Highway #600, Fort Lauderdale; 754-200-8648 or BrassTapBeerBar.com
With craft-beer brewing tanks on the second floor and a full-liquor bar below, this Flagler Village brewpub boasts an adventurous lineup of drink options during its block party from noon to close March 14. There will be a beer pong tournament ($25 per team via Eventbrite.com, $500 prize), plus $5 green beer and teas, $5 Jameson shots, raffles, live music and outdoor tents. Visiting on St. Pat’s instead? Expect fewer drink specials.
Briny Irish Pub
3440 E. Atlantic Blvd., Pompano Beach; 954-942-3159 or TheBrinyIrishPub.com
We come for the Irish-blooded vibe and the once-a-year corned beef cabbage ($16) at this seaside tavern, the last remaining Briny location after its Fort Lauderdale riverfront pub shut down in 2018. To drink here is to be surrounded as much by chummy local drinkers as Old Florida décor (thick ropes, life preservers, photos of people holding thick ropes and life preservers). Want half-off Irish Car Bombs? Find a restaurant chain: the Briny is defiantly old-school.
McSorley’s Beach Pub
837 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-565-4446 or McSorleysFTL.com
Choosing McSorley’s as your St. Patrick’s Day base means cheap drink specials, but you’ll also be competing with swarms of green beer-starved Spring Breakers. Check McSorley’s Facebook page and website for food and drink specials.
Legends Tavern and Grille
Multiple locations; LegendsTavernandGrille.com
This chain gastropub, which also has locations in Lighthouse Point, Sunrise, Deerfield Beach and now Pompano Beach, is throwing a St. Patty’s brunch with nine items, including corned beef and cabbage. Call the bar for updated drink specials during the holiday.
The Field Irish Pub and Eatery
3281 Griffin Road, Fort Lauderdale; 954-964-5979 or TheFieldFTL.com
As much a pub as it is a restaurant, with live music holding court on the patio, The Field feels like a turn-of-the-century farmhouse, with weathered art, dusty vintage books and an ancient fireplace in the dining room. The Field is throwing an 11 a.m.-close St. Patrick’s Day bash (cover: $10), featuring live music on two stages (Celtic Bridge, Drake School Irish Dancers), bagpipers, a holiday menu of Irish stew, bread pudding, corned beef and cabbage and $7 beers.
Mickey Byrne’s Irish Pub and Restaurant
1921 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; 954-921-2317 or MickeyByrnes.com
This downtown Hollywood staple will turn the craic up to 11 on St. Patrick’s Day, when the bar dishes live music and Irish dancers under the tent outside.
Bokamper’s Sports Bar and Grill
3115 NE 32nd Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 954-900-5584; 1280 S. Pine Island Road, Plantation, 954-533-7152; and 15500 SW 29th St., Miramar, 754-400-8558; Bokampers.com
All three South Florida locations of former Miami Dolphin Kim Bokamper’s namesake eatery will offer a St. Patrick’s Day menu of fish and chips and corned beef and cabbage (call bar for prices), plus beer bucket and draft specials during the holiday, along with half-off drinks during its late-night happy hour from 10 p.m. to close.
Royal Pig Pub and Kitchen
350 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-617-7447 or RoyalPigPub.com
As with Mickey Byrnes in Hollywood, the Royal Pig sits in the middle of a St. Patrick’s Day parade route, making it an ideal home base for the Fort Lauderdale St. Patrick’s Parade and Festival 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 14. There will be live patio music and an Irish brunch menu.
Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach
801 Seabreeze Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-764-2233 or Doubletree3.Hilton.com
Bahia Mar’s Waves and High Tide poolside bars will host an appropriately naughty (and free) Irish bacchanal that will coincide with its Spring Break-themed pool party series 1-5 p.m. March 17, with live music, discounted green beer and live sounds from DJ Suissa. But we reiterate: This is Spring Break central.
O’Sheas Irish Pub
531 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561-833-3865 or OSheasPub.com
The downtown Clematis Street drag will host not one, but two simultaneous block parties at O’Sheas and Roxy’s, but let’s be honest: O’Sheas always wins. Their free weekend Irish Fest returns March 13-15 and will feature live bagpipers, a beer truck, Guinness glass engravings, DJs and music from Gaelic Brew, the Celts, the Reelin’ Rogues and George Manosis and the Banjaxed.
Tim Finnegans Irish Pub
2885 S. Federal Highway, Delray Beach; 561-330-3153 or TimFinnegansIrishPub.com
A pub named after James Joyce’s magical protagonist in “Finnegans Wake” almost demands a certain level of Irish authenticity, but Tim Finnegans does Delray Beach one better: It’s also a hub for two kinds of football. The bar is an after-party stop for Delray Beach’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities (11 a.m.-8 p.m. March 14). On the holiday, Tim Finnegans will do a daylong celebration with Irish step-dancing, live music and a full Irish breakfast.
Dubliner Irish Pub
435 Plaza Real, Boca Raton; 561-620-2540 or Sub-Culture.org/Dubliner
If the kids must accompany your St. Patrick’s debauchery, seek out the Dubliner’s 10 a.m.-to-close block party in Mizner Park, featuring two music stages of family-friendly revelry from South Florida Cloggers and the Black Thorne Pipe Band. There also will be outdoor face painting and corned beef and cabbage.
Matthew’s Brewing Company
130 South H St., Lake Worth; 561-812-3738 or MathewsBrewingCompany.com
Starting at noon March 17, the brewery will serve $4.25 pints of its Black Metallic Irish Stout and Mathews Irish Red Ale, along with live music from Justin Jeffries and Spred the Dub. The first 130 visitors receive a free souvenir glass with their first pint purchase.
The Wharf Miami
114 SW North River Drive, Miami; 305-906-4000 or WharfMiami.com
As in Fort Lauderdale, you’ll spot leprechaun characters at this pop-up food and event space along the Miami River, kicking off its pre-St. Patty’s Festival March 12-15 with free pints of Green Wharf Lager (noon-midnight March 12, noon-3 a.m. March 13, noon-midnight March 15) with purchase of Jameson cold brew, and free Guinness pints (noon-3 a.m. March 14) with purchase of a whiskey shot. RSVP via Eventbrite.com for “free St. Patrick’s swag.” Food will come from Cracked by Chef Adrianne, Spris Artisan Pizza, MOJO Donuts, La Santa Taqueria, OG Ceviche and Seafood Shack and Hershey’s Ice Cream.
29 NE 11th St., Miami; 305-829-2911 or 11miami.com
Nothing quite screams St. Patrick’s Day like a Miami rooftop bar, and the posh one atop this downtown Miami nightclub will offer discounted Jameson shots (also available in the club) and late-night beer specials.
1344 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach; 305-672-7747
Another Irish pub with a James Joycean moniker, laid-back Finnegan’s Way somehow manages to defy the fist-pumping South Beach vibe around it. Go people-watching and take in Finnegan’s all-day party with live bagpipers. Drink specials? Don’t even bother asking.
2250 NW Second Ave., Miami; 305-239-8833 or Wynwood-Marketplace.com
First, the good news: The first 500 guests earn a free whiskey shot by RSVPing here. Now, the bad: You’ll be neck-deep in Wynwood mayhem. This St. Patty’s bash, unfolding on 18,000 square feet of Astroturf, will have food trucks and open bar, “magical elf houses” and “leprechaun dunk tanks,” which probably sounds cooler if you’re not sober. It’s free admission with optional $10 party packs filled with green swag, $29 all-you-can-drink tickets. There’s also a $24,000 “St. Patrick’s Day 24K Gold Experience” which – we’re not kidding – includes a morning-after “specially formulated recovery IV therapy.”
Click HERE to see the original article by Phillip Valys on the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
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