Still haven’t made plans for this St. Patrick’s Day? Sure, there are Irish pubs in Philadelphia with specials and green beer flowing. McGillin’s Olde Ale House is celebrating its 151st St. Patrick’s Day. The bar opened at 10 a.m., and according to the website, lines start forming outside even earlier. Why go to a bar so packed you can’t move, and then have to figure out how to get home?
Abington is home to many wonderful bars and restaurants making their nods to the Irish, and they’re all much closer to home than Center City pubs. Check out this list of spots just around the corner to toast the Irish, celebrate with friends and family, and partake in the best day of the year for shamrocks and shepherd’s pie.
Probably the most authentic and old-school Irish place to go in the area, The Drake Tavern will offer Irish food all day, including shepherd’s pie, Irish lamb stew, bangers and mash, corned beef and cabbage, and the more traditional ham and cabbage.
For drink specials, the tavern will have $5 Ohara’s Irish Stout, half and half, black and tans, and Irish car bombs.
To up the ante on the ambiance, The Drake Tavern will host Irish bagpipers to perform at 6 p.m. and midnight.
The Drake Tavern, 304 Old York Road, Jenkintown, www.draketavern.com
GG Brewers Brewing Company, where the beer is homemade, is serving up corned beef and cabbage for $11 and Black Irish Stout in a 20-ounce shamrock mug for $5. The party is from 4 to 10 p.m. The daily menu also has pub classics, such as fish and chips, that go with a stout just perfectly.
Instead of having an imported Irish beer, such as the ever popular Guinness or Harp, or pouring back a cheap, green beer, go local. Enjoy your brew knowing that you’re lowering your carbon footprint—the beer is made on the premises, and it doesn’t get more local than that.
GG Brewers Brewing Company, 282 N. Kewswick Ave., Glenside, 215-887-0809, www.ggbrewers.com
Neighbors can get started early at the Keswick Tavern for the holiday. The tavern usually opens at 4 p.m. during the week, but for St. Patrick’s Day, it is making a special exception and is opening at noon. Drink specials include $2 Bud Lights or Rolling Rock drafts.
Keswick Tavern, 294 Keswick Ave., Glenside, www.keswicktavern.net, 215-886-4277
The more grown-up gathering place at Kitchen Bar is offering all-night drink specials on O’Hara’s Stout, which the bartender said tastes a lot like Guinness, and Irish car bombs for $5. Bud Light drafts, dyed green of course, will be on sale for $2.50.
For the happy hour crowd, appetizers and pizzas are just $5, and a DJ will start spinning at 7 p.m. It's not exactly traditional Gaelic music, but maybe better for those who want to shake their shamrocks and not do a jig.
Kitchen Bar, 1482 Old York Road, Abington, www.kitchenbar.net, 215-576-9766