Second semester classes are in full swing, and the time of year is approaching when we can once again whip out our swimsuits and spend our free days lounging around the pool or beach. Besides warmer weather, the traditional Irish holiday we Americans have come to celebrate is also fast approaching. Providing a nice prelude into the possibilities of fun to be had over spring break, St. Patrick’s Day is one of those holidays college students don’t neglect. This year, aside from utilizing the holiday to pinch anyone not sporting the color green, celebrate the day by hitting up some of Long Beach’s most-loved Irish pubs. Whether you’re looking to dance to traditional Irish music, sip on pints of Guinness, or munch on corned beef and hash, there will be endless opportunities throughout the day to honor the world’s favorite patron saint.
Murphy’s Irish Pub on Second Street
Marking the 30th anniversary of its opening this St. Patty’s Day, Murphy’s is one of those Irish pubs employee Cynthia Longbrake refers to as “that ‘Cheers’ kind of place.” This family-owned pub, located above The Belmont Athletic Club on Second Street in Belmont Shore, is known for its welcoming atmosphere, plethora of beer choices, and its “Hall of Hops” green card competition. The goal of the competition is to drink all 70 beers representing 28 different countries around the world. Each time you drink a country’s beer, you get your passport stamped. After the 70th beer, drinkers get a customized plaque with their name on it and a short inscription added to the “Hall of Hops” wall, as well as a special passport members T-shirt. Although the task may seem impossible, one customer has braved the beer 43 times. As Longbrake says, it’s one of those pubs where workers “definitely get to know the regulars.”
This St. Patty’s Day will include musical entertainment provided by a bagpipe player, sports games screening on the nine HDTV’s, Guinness girls handing out beads, beef reubens, and other traditional Irish foods, as well as green beer. T-shirts will be on sale that guarantee front of the line entrance to the bar, and as well as discounts on drafts for the night and every Tuesday after the T-shirt purchase. The bar opens at 11:30 a.m. and closes at midnight everyday, so be sure to arrive early and you might get to enjoy a piece of the 30th anniversary cake.
Shannon’s on Pine
Located in downtown Long Beach, this pub has provided a fun hangout for all 21+ age group for the past six years. With Foosball and pool tables, 14 flat screens, 10 beers on tap, 13 types of bottled beer, and tasty food, this bar is known to attract large crowds. Most people go to Shannon’s, which also has a location on Second Street in Belmont Shore, to enjoy the famous ‘shoot the root’ concoction. This delicious drink consists of a shot of root beer Schnapps in a glass of beer, and is known to go down dangerously smooth.
On the big day, there will be live musical performances accompanied by scenes of Irish folk dancing and landscapes flashing across the many plasma screens. Drink specials include dollar shots of Jameson, which will go fast as the bar is known to sell an average of 24,000 drinks of the whiskey per year. Bartenders and employees will be dressed in traditional Irish attire, and customers are encouraged to dress up too. Also making an appearance will be what manager Baron Mosely refers to as “live leprechauns” decked out in full makeup and costume completely prepared for photo-ops. Usually open Monday through Friday from 11:30 to 2 a.m. and Saturday through Sunday from 10 to 2 a.m. The bar will be open at 9 a.m. on the special Saturday.
Gallagher’s Pub and Grill on Broadway
Another Long Beach favorite, Gallagher’s attracts crowds with its daily specials, friendly staff, and mouth-watering Irish cuisine. Owned by Irish native Ciaran Gallagher, the bar has the authentic feeling that guarantees newcomers to come back. One of the customer favorites is Sunday’s $6 bottomless mimosa special with a purchase of food that runs untill 2 p.m., perfect for easing the pain of Saturday night’s fun while watching football with friends. Employee Michael Scotty says the pub “has the best corned beef cabbage around, and we know how to pour a Guinness the right way.” According to Scotty, it takes seven minutes to pour the perfect pint, not to mention some skill to draw shamrocks or occasionally his phone number on the beer’s delicious foamy surface.
On St. Patty’s day, there will be plenty of drink and food specials on items such as Irish Car Bombs, ales, Sheppard’s pie and beef stew. There will be live musical performances by Irish bands throughout the day, which in the past has included local band American Wake. As you sip on your perfectly poured Guinness or dine on your traditional Irish grub, leprechauns will be cruising around the bar handing out shots and posing for photos. The bar is open Monday through Friday from noon to 1 a.m., and Saturday through Sunday from 9 to 2 a.m.
If you aren’t able to make it out to the festivities of a bustling pub, you can always liven up your St. Patty’s Day by creating an Irish concoction in the comfort of your own home. Here are some simple recipes sure to make good ol’ Saint Patrick proud:
1 glass Coca-Cola
1 (or 2) shot of Bailey’s Irish cream
Pour Bailey’s on top of Coca-cola to create float effect. Add whip cream if desired, insert green straw, and voila!
¾ shot green crème de menthe
¾ shot Irish whiskey
Stir ingredients with ice. Add green food coloring for desired amount of green color. Strain into cocktail glass and serve.
1½-2 shots Jameson
1 glass Mountain Dew Red
Stir ingredients together in a glass with ice, and serve.
Irish Milk Punch
2 shots Bailey’s Irish cream
1 shot Irish whiskey
1 6 oz. glass of hot milk
Heat glass of milk in mug. Pour Bailey’s and whiskey over milk. Sprinkle with grated chocolate, and serve.
Source: Sofia Yassine, digmagonline.com