Though it’s not a legal holiday anywhere in the U.S., St. Patrick’s Day is a festive celebration of Irish and Irish American culture that’s been observed in North America since before the American Revolution. This year, St. Patrick’s Day is being celebrated on Sunday, March 17th as well as throughout the days that lead up to the big event. Expect to see the traditional color of green splashed across greater Los Angeles as bars and restaurants offer Irish music, food, and of course copious amounts of Guinness and Irish whiskey. Read on for some of the best St. Patrick’s Day events, and as always please remember to celebrate responsibly.
All of the following events take place on Sunday, March 17, 2013 unless otherwise noted.
L.A. LIVE, in collaboration with the City of Los Angeles, presents the annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival on Sunday, March 17, 2013. This free public event takes place at Nokia Plaza L.A. LIVE from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and honors the Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Society. The St. Patrick’s Day Festival includes:
- Live Irish Rock Entertainment
- Traditional Irish Food, Music & Dance
- The Budweiser Clydesdales
- Bud Light Beer Garden
- Los Angeles Clippers at STAPLES Center, 12:30 p.m. pre- & post-game festivities
- Los Angeles Lakers at STAPLES Center, 6:30 p.m. pre-game festivities
- LAPD & LAFD Historic Vehicles
- Harley-Davidson Ride to L.A. LIVE with hundreds of motorcycles on Chick Hearn Court
- Special Guests and Appearances
- Special St. Patrick’s Day festivities at Club Nokia and L.A. LIVE restaurants
On March 17th, Casey’s Irish Pub opens its doors at 6 a.m. and keeps the green beer flowing until 2 a.m. for its annual St. Patrick’s Day Street Festival. The festival is expanding this year and will close down the blocks between 6th-7th Street and Wilshire Boulevard in Downtown. An expected 15,000 guests will enjoy live music, over 500 kegs of beer, Irish whiskies, picklebacks, and specialty dishes that include over 200 pounds of corned beef. Breakfast will be served from 7-10 a.m., followed by Casey’s St. Patty’s Day lunch and dinner menu beginning at 11 a.m. Entry to the festival is free before 1 p.m. and $8 entry afterwards. VIP tickets are available for $20 and include separate entry without lines and access to a raised VIP area to survey the festival from a bird’s eye view.
The oldest Irish establishment in Los Angeles is starting its St. Patrick’s Day at the top o' the mornin': Tom Bergin’s Tavern will be open on March 17th from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. with numerous food and drink options. The bar that inspired Cheers hopes to sell 1,000 of its legendary Irish Coffees that day, along with a “Stout Off” featuring Guinness Stout, O’Hara’s Stout, and plenty of Black & Tans, Half & Halfs, Car Bombs and Black Velvets. True to its New Orleans roots, Bergin’s is serving beverages in commemorative Go Cups all day, including a special one made for the Irish Coffee. To absorb the libations, bar patrons can enjoy the hearty Irish Breakfast all day, or a menu of Bergin's “greatest hits,” including Corned Beef, Cottage Pie, Pretzels, Fish & Chips, Charred Oysters, and the popular burgers. The restaurant is offering full service on St. Patrick's Day but won’t be accepting reservations. Bergin’s anticipates the wait for entry will start around 9 a.m.
Located just a half mile north of Tom Bergin’s on Fairfax Avenue, Molly Malone’s Irish Pub has been owned by the same Irish family since 1970, a year after it first opened. The shelves are lined with books and the walls are covered by over 70 paintings by noted Irish portrait painter Neal Boyle. But there’s one thing you won’t find at Molly’s, not even on St. Patrick’s Day: green beer. Molly Malone’s has a long-standing tradition of showcasing up-and-coming music talent, from Irish troubadours back in the day to its current calendar of acoustic performances, rock, pop, indie, country, bluegrass, Americana and reggae. Molly’s recently debuted its new music room, The Snug at Molly Malone’s. Surprise guests who have performed at Molly’s include Lenny Kravitz, Michelle Shocked, Weezer and Lucinda Williams. Bands scheduled to perform on St. Patrick’s Day include RapScallions, The Black Shamrocks, Kofi Baker's Cream Experience and The Dunrussagans.
At two stories and 8,000 square feet, it’s no surprise that Dillon’s Irish Pub & Grill at the intesection of Hollywood and Vine is going big with its St. Patrick’s Day festivities. True to its Hollywood location, Dillon’s is expanding its celebration to an epic 18 Days of St. Patrick’s Day, featuring a different special every day from March 1st to March 18th. Daily specials include $5 Irish Coffees, $5 Irish Whiskey shots, $8 Irish beer sampler and $10 fish & chips. Dillon’s opens at 6 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day, featuring bagpipers, leprechauns, a bangers eating contest, photo booth, green swag, DJ Thrills and much more. On March 18th, Dillon’s is offering Hair of the Dog drink and food specials all day to help ease the pain.
On Sunday, March 17th, look for the party tent at Tam O’Shanter, opened in 1922 and known as the oldest restaurant in LA that’s operated by the same family in the same location (on Los Feliz Blvd). For St. Patrick’s Day, “The Tam” is offering traditional Irish dishes, music, dancing, bagpipes and more. Guinness pints, Jameson shots and green beer will be poured in three different event spaces. Make reservations for the Dining Room and enjoy a menu featuring corned beef and cabbage. Seat yourself at the Ale & Sandwich Bar and get a hand-carved ceapaire (sandwich) of corned beef, turkey, brisket and roast beef, or have your fill of corned beef and cabbage platters. Live performances by Dublin Public, Slugger O'Toole, and the Ploughboys, Tam O'Shanter’s own house band. The restaurant opens at 10 a.m., the party tent opens at noon, and the music begins at 1 p.m. The Emerald Society Pipes & Drums heralds the evening at around 4:30-5 p.m. No cover for the party tent and live music.
Located in the heart of Burbank, Story Tavern serves craft beers, wines and hard ciders alongside farm fresh fare. Story Tavern is located in the building that once housed Story Hardware, owned by Burbank's first mayor Thomas Story at the time of the city's incorporation in 1911. Story Tavern is run by 4th and 5th generation Irish Angelenos, the Slaught family. On March 16th and 17th, Story Tavern celebrates St. Patrick's Day with Guinness and O'Hara's Irish Stout specials; traditional Irish food like Corned Beef & Cabbage, Irish Stew and Boxtys; live traditional Irish music; and “No Green Beer!” Story Tavern is open from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. on both days of St. Patrick’s Weekend.
Located on Windward Avenue just steps from Venice Beach, the historic Townhouse and Del Monte Speakeasy opened as Menotti’s in 1915. The bar became a “grocery store” during the Prohibition era, while the Del Monte Speakeasy downstairs became a hub for rum runners. After the repeal of Prohibition, the above-ground bar re-opened and boasted regular patrons such as Charlie Chaplin and Venice resident Jim Morrison of The Doors. Today the bar is a Venice community hub once again, featuring craft cocktails and nightly entertainment. The Townhouse and Del Monte Speakeasy is open from noon to 2 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day, serving $5 Irish Punch, $10 Irish Cocktails, and $8 Irish Whiskey Specials all day and night. Traditional Irish bands are performing all day, with a band TBA in the Del Monte later in the evening. Complimentary Irish Stew all day and night while supplies last.
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on Wilshire Restaurant's award-winning patio at the inaugural Paddy O’Party, with proceeds benefitting the Westside Food Bank. Guests will enjoy a special Irish-inspired menu by Chef Nyesha Arrington, including items such as Green Eggs and Ham, Corned Beef Sliders, Irish Stew Pie, Bangers & Mash and Fish & Chips. Doors open at 11 a.m., with St. Patrick’s Day Brunch served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Live music and DJ sets begin at noon, featuring Erik DiNardo, DJ Riff Raff, Celebrity DJ Casey Connor and Irish House Mafia. “Pot of Gold” drink specials include $2 Green Beer from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., $5 afterwards; $6 Irish Coffees, whiskey shots and Irish Car Bombs; and $6 Guinness Beers. Festive green attire is encouraged, with prizes for the Best Leprechaun Costume. $10 suggested donation. 11 a.m to midnight, early arrival is strongly suggested. RSVP for guaranteed entry: paddyoparty.eventbrite.com.
For authentic Irish spirit, it’s hard to beat Finn McCool's Irish Pub in Santa Monica, which features 18 beers on tap and over 200 whiskies from around the world. In 2001, owner and executive chef Geraldine Gilliland (a native of Belfast) packed up the artifacts of her late stepfather’s pub in Ireland and arranged for the entire bar to be painstakingly dismantled and shipped to Santa Monica. A crew of Irish craftsmen meticulously reconstructed the pub, and Finn McCool’s opened on St. Patrick’s Day in 2002. The Irish ambiance is enhanced by vintage memorabilia, celtic carvings and hand-painted murals that depict the legendary Irish warrior, Fionn MacCumhail. Gilliland offers traditional “Irish Fayre” like Shepherd's Pie, Roast Beef and Cabbage with Horseradish Cream, and Fish and Chips with Tartar Sauce. A specialty is boxty, a potato pancake stuffed with fillings such as Guinness Beef Stew, Corned Beef and Cabbage and more.
Known as LA's best Latino Irish tribute band, Ollin is celebrating their 11th Annual St. Patrick's Day Tribute to The Pogues on Sunday, March 17th at The Satellite. As per tradition, Ollin is playing The Pogues classic album Rum, Sodomy & the Lash in its entirety, as well as other Pogues and Ollin Classics. Tickets are $10. Doors open at 8:30 p.m., the show starts at 9 p.m. and the event ends at 2 a.m. Ages 21 and over with ID.
On Saturday, March 16th, celebrate a day of Irish-themed activities and performances at One Colorado in Old Pasadena. At 3 p.m., Cleary Irish Dance performs several traditional Irish dances followed by a fun, interactive dance lesson. From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., enjoy music in the Courtyard with Straw Dogs, a tradition-based band with a repertoire that includes traditional Irish and Scottish jigs and reels, Manx and Welsh tunes, original compositions with an occasional American tune thrown in for good measure.
The Hermosa Beach St. Patrick’s Day Parade takes place on Saturday, March 16th beginning at 11 a.m. Now in its 19th year, the popular tradition annually draws an estimated 30,000 people who come to enjoy the parade, as well as Hermosa Beach’s great dining, shopping and beautiful beach weather. Nearly 100 local businesses, civic organizations and school marching bands traditionally take part in the seven block parade down Pier Avenue. The Irish theme is celebrated by participants that include floats and four-legged friends from the Irish Setters Club of Southern California. The parade begins at the staging area near City Hall on Valley Drive, makes a left onto Pier Avenue and ends at the corner of Hermosa Avenue and 10th street.
Get an early start on St. Patrick’s Day at the 11th annual LA County Irish Fair & Music Festival, taking place March 9-10, 2013 at the Fairplex in Pomona. The LA County Irish Fair is the largest event of its kind in Southern California, with 9 stages featuring true Irish music from the likes of The Mulligans and Ken O' Malley & The Twilight Lords, and performances from dancers, pipers, storytellers and more. The whole family will also enjoy sheep herding demonstrations, the largest Irish Import Street in the west, the Leprechaun Village, and the Celtic Arts Center with a fine dining Irish buffet.