“My Goodness, My Guinness”: Where to Drink This St. Patrick’s Day

If you’re staying in New York during spring break this year, you’ll be in town for St. Patrick’s Day, so don’t be so jealous of your friends spending the week in tropical climates. Instead, celebrate the holiday on March 17 by frequenting one of the following great local pubs for some traditional Irish fare and a pint of Guinness. Avoid the sunburn and beach crowds, and enjoy some spirits, bar food and a game of darts. Just do yourself a favor, and stay away from the green beer.

 

Hibernia

Hibernia, the ancient Romans’ name for Ireland, is a modern New York pub with classical Irish sensibilities. Multiple widescreen televisions on each wall and a large projector opposite the bar complement the Irish brews on tap, like Guinness and Smithwick’s, and Irish dishes, like fish and chips ($12.95) and shepherd’s pie ($11.95), to make for a great sports bar-meets-pub atmosphere. There is a fair amount of seating at the bar, booth or tables, allowing for larger groups, and the dartboard in the corner and board games behind the bar offer the chance to compete even if your favorite team is losing.

Waiting for a pint of Guinness is a good sign, and Hibernia’s bartenders take the time to pour a glass served with minimal head. If the dry stout doesn’t fill you up, the bangers and mash ($10) will. Three traditional Irish sausages served with a large portion of mashed potatoes and syrupy onion gravy leave you as satisfied as the last swig of your second or third pint. Hibernia does have traditional American bar food like buffalo wings, chicken fingers and jalapeno poppers on the menu, but the Irish fare is a delicious substitution, especially when drinking a heavy beer in place of a Bud Light. For the next big game or anytime you want a good meal with your Guinness, especially this St. Patrick’s Day, check out Hibernia.

IF YOU GO

Where: 401 W. 50th Street (between 9th and 10th Ave.)

Beer: 11 beers on tap; seven varieties of Irish whiskey

Food: Irish and American bar fare

More Info: (212) 969-9703

www.hiberniabar.com

Darts, board games and widescreen TVs


Molloy’s Irish Pub

With its green and yellow painted exterior and spacious interior, Molloy’s offers a variety of draft beers, a game room with a second bar, pool table and foosball, and plentiful seating for larger groups on St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, one of the friendly bartenders has informed me that on March 17, Molloy’s will be removing chairs from the bar to allow for maximum occupancy with both main and secondary bars fully operational and enough Irish food to go around.

Reasonably priced house brews, Molloy’s Irish Red and Blonde, and $3 bottles of Rolling Rock, a special when I visited, make Molloy’s an affordable but classy Irish pub with something for everyone. Irish and American bar fare includes a range of appetizers and entrees. One flavor-filled starter, Irish-style curry cheese fries ($7), is a delicious dish to share. The potatoes are covered in melted cheese, drenched in curry-seasoned brown gravy and served with a garlic and herb mayo on the side.

The dartboard setup in the rear makes for a good spot for friendly competition, as does the game room, allowing for moderate seclusion from those in the main area attempting to strike up too many drunken conversations. With headshots of Irish and Irish-American personalities hung around the bar with bios to boot, Molloy’s swells with pride for the Emerald Isle and patrons will smile when the bartender with the thick Irish brogue serves up another pint.

IF YOU GO

Where: 737 Ninth Ave. (between 49th and 50th St.)

Beer: 19 beers on tap; Molloy’s Irish Red

Food: Irish and American bar fare

More Info: (212) 247-3400

www.molloyspub.com

Darts, pool and foosball

McCoy’s of Hell’s Kitchen

Dimly lit, few frills and decked out in pub memorabilia, McCoy’s is for the stoic Irish, somewhat older crowd who wants a beer and can’t be bothered by sports bar chic. The busted jukebox switches songs before one can finish playing, but the music entertains nonetheless. If you’re lucky, the bartender will double as iPod DJ. At least the front window booth as well as four more in the back of the bar offer an intimate atmosphere for late night conversation.

The inexpensive house brew McCoy’s Irish Ale is a lighter alternative to a tasty pint of Guinness, the Irish classic which the bartender will take care to pour properly. While nothing on the dinner menu is cheaper than $13, hungry patrons need not worry too much about the price. Because McCoy’s doesn’t have a kitchen, any food orders are outsourced to Lucky’s Famous Burgers (located on W. 52nd St. between 8th and 9th Ave.), so you may as well finish your beer and walk the extra block for a juicy burger with everything on it minus the delivery fee. Then head back to McCoy’s for one more pint. With the extra exercise, you earned it. During the week, McCoy’s is a quiet place to watch a game, but I’m sure the bar will be packed this St. Patrick’s Day, with patrons flowing from the back booths out onto 9th Ave.

IF YOU GO

Where: 768 Ninth Ave. (between 51st and 52nd St.)

Beer: 10 beers on tap; McCoy’s Irish Ale

Food: Ordered from Lucky’s Famous Burgers

More Info: (212) 957-8055