Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the East Bay
Sample Irish whiskeys; face painting and bouncy houses for kids; a Danville bar reopens with a new Irish focus; and more events to help you get in the St. Paddy’s Day spirit.
Drinking green beers and eating corned beef and cabbage aren’t the only things you can do to celebrate this St. Patrick's Day (Sunday, March 17). While many people will flock to the bars for Irish drinks, a number of events around the East Bay include activities for the entire family. Whether you're Irish or not, take part in these St. Paddy's Day festivities. Who knows, maybe you'll spot a leprechaun and his pot of gold.
Know of any other St. Patrick’s Day events going on in the East Bay? Let us know in the comments! We’ll be adding to the list throughout the week.
Irish Whiskey Tasting at Club Mallard
If you’re looking to branch out from the usual Jameson, stop by the eclectically decorated two-story bar for a sampling of Irish whiskies in honor of the holiday. The bar will offer a special on three different tastes for the night. Sunday, March 17, 12 p.m.–2 a.m., 752 San Pablo Ave., (510) 524-8450, clubmallard.com.
The Starry Plough Pub: 40th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
Throughout the day, you can enjoy traditional Irish dance music and songs by The Driving Fergus. There will also be Irish dance performances by McBride Irish Dancers and John Slaymaker & the Monday Night Celil Dancers. This event is open for all ages during the day, but will be 21 and over after 10 p.m. Sunday March 17, performances start at 4 p.m., $10 cover charge, 3101 Shattuck Ave., website.
Grab a rocking chair on the deck and sip the Irish coffee drink special—Jameson, coffee, and a homemade Jameson-infused whipped cream. The kitchen will also offer special menu, including Irish stew and corned beef and cabbage. Sunday, March 17, kitchen from 3:30 p.m.–9 p.m. (bar area may be open later), 6115 Main St., website.
Instead of throwing one back, try giving back with Cut-A-Thon this St. Patrick’s Day weekend. From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., local salons will offer haircuts—including shampoo, style, and blow dry—for $35 for the fellas and $50 for the ladies. Hosted at Christine’s: A Complete You, Cut-A-Thon benefits Horses Healing Hearts Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Education. Saturday, March 16, 9 a.m.–6 p.m., 374 Hartz Ave., Danville, (925) 838-2123, website.
McGah’s Pub and Pianos Grand Reopening
Formally known as That Bar, the new Irish themed pub will have a reopening celebration, fittingly on St. Patrick’s Day. Festivities will include photo booths, games, and face painting for kids, live music, as well as the pub’s famous dueling pianos. You’ll also be able to enjoy Irish car bombs and green beer, along with upscale pub food like Shepard’s pie and bangers and mash. Sunday, March 17, live entertainment begins at 3 p.m., no cover, 148 E. Prospect Ave., website.
Norm's Bar and Grill: Eighth Annual St. Patrick’s Day Party
This party has activities for people of all ages. Kids can enjoy free face fainting, four different bounce houses, and authentic leprechauns. Norm’s will have plenty of corned beef, as well as live entertainment including bag pipers, Irish Step dancers, and two bands—The Mad Maggies and The Drop Daddies. Saturday, March 16, 11 a.m.–late night, no cover, 356 Hartz Ave., website.
Dublin Sports Pub & Grill
Dublin Sports Pub is getting started early, with green Thursday on March 14. In addition to karaoke, Dublin Sports Pub will dish out Irish soda bread, chicken and dumplings, corned beef sandwiches, fish and chips, Irish lamb stew in a bread bowl, and more. The fun continues on Friday, with live music from Rodeo House, and Saturday the bar welcomes Department of Rock for live tunes. On the big day, the pub goes all out, with a bagpiper at 6 p.m., green beer, music, and a party with 107.7 the Bone. Festivities run all weekend, 7294 San Ramon Rd., website.
It wouldn't feel like St. Patrick's Day without mentioning this almost legendary Dublin celebration. Each year, Gallagher's throws a party all weekend long, opening up its 3,000-square foot patio to the drinking masses, with extra outside bars to expedite lines. Believe me, the bar needs all the extra space, because people flock to the Irish watering hole come St. Patrick's Day weekend. Friday inside opens at 8 a.m., outside bars at 8 p.m., with DJ Murph spinning tunes from 8 p.m.–1:30 p.m. On Saturday, the bar once again opens at 8 a.m., with the outside patio opening at 3 p.m., and the addition of a 4,000-square foot heated tent at 5 p.m. Expect live music both inside and out, and skip the cover by arriving before 5 p.m. On the actual day of St. Paddy's, the bar opens at 8 a.m. (seeing a theme here?) and the patio opens at noon—just in time for the 400 pounds of corned beef and cabbage the bar dishes out for the occassion. Music will be rocking the stages, both inside and out, and Gallagher's staffs 34 bartenders and 22 security personel to ensure an expedient, and safe, St. Patrick's Day. Friday, March 15–Sunday, March 17, 7821 Amador Valley Blvd., website.
30th Annual City of Dublin St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
The City of Dublin is having a gala, pancake breakfast, parade, festival, and 5K run. Here’s the breakdown:
Watch colorful floats, equestrian riders, bagpipers, and marching bands stroll down the streets of Dublin. There will be bleachers available at 7400 Amador Valley Boulevard. Saturday, March 16, 9:30 a.m., free, Amador Plaza, Dublin Blvd., Village Pkwy., and Amador Valley Blvd., website.
Everyone is welcome to this two-day festival that includes authentic Irish entertainment, carnival rides, and plenty of Irish themed food including corned beef sliders and Guinness marinated tri-tip. There will also be 250 vendors and an Irish Tea Cottage. And it wouldn’t be a St. Patty’s day celebration without a leprechaun. Saturday, March 16, and Sunday, March 17, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., free, Dublin Civic Center, 100 Civic Plaza, website.
Shamrock 5K Fun Run and Walk
This run is open to kids and adults that enjoy a run or a slower trot through the streets of Dublin. Post race activities include refreshments, prize drawings, and entertainment. Sunday, March 17, 8:30 a.m., pre-registration $23 - $25, on site $30, 6815 Dublin Blvd., website. For information on the other St. Patrick’s Day events in Dublin visit the city’s website.
Lamorinda Music: St. Patrick’s Day Concert
Transport yourself to the Emerald Isle as you listen to the Celtic sounds of the Malarkey Brothers. When you hear the two fiddlers play along with the guitar, you’ll know why so many people enjoy this traditional spirited Irish music. Sunday, March 17, 7:30 p.m., suggested donation $15-$20, 81 Lafayette Cir., lamorindamusic.com.
Due to popular demand, all locations of the bakery will be offering a Guinness Stout chocolate cupcake with a Bailey's buttercream frosting. Pick one up now through St. Patrick's Day. 3598 Mt. Diablo Blvd., susiecakes.com/lafayette.
Head to this popular Piedmont tiki bar for a unique riff on the classic green drinks for the holiday. Bartenders will be blending and shaking up green piña coladas and chi chis—a mix of vodka, pineapple juice, and cream of coconut. Sunday, March 17, 2 p.m.–2 a.m., 4401 Piedmont Ave., Oakland, konaclub.net.
Republic of Cake
If you’re not a fan of large crowds or bars, you can still celebrate at home by sampling some of the Irish themed treats served at Republic of Cake. Try the Irish Potato Soup, which has leeks, celery, and smoked cheddar. For dessert try the Dublin Chocolate Bomb: a Guinness chocolate cake with chocolate chips and whiskey brown sugar buttercream, topped with crunchy whiskey toffee. Month of March, 2 Theatre Square, Ste. 151. Click here for the full menu.
Courtesy of Republic of Cake
Have a lucky green beer or Guinness as you eat some of the Irish themed food on the menu, like the corned beef sandwich or corned beef and cabbage with all the traditional trimmings. Sunday, March 17, 2618 Pleasant Hill Rd., website.
This boozy crawl through downtown Pleasanton encourages costumes, and will include 25 local beer and food pairings while you shop around Main Street. Ticket price also includes a commemorative beer glass and event map. Friday, March 15, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., $30 before the event, $35 at the door, Veterans Memorial Building, 301 Main St., website.
On Friday, the Pleasanton pub will offer St. Patrick's Day drink specials all night long, plus music from DJ Scott La Rock from 9 p.m.–12 a.m. On Saturday, rock out to country folk from Pilgrim. Grab a pint of Moylan's Dragoon Dry Irish Stout, dig into corned beef and cabbage and Irish stew, and don't forget your green. Festivities run all weekend, 855 Main St., website.
In addition to a weekend of corned beef and cabbage, DJs, and dancing, the English pub will continue the Irish festivities with proper Black and Tans and other drink specials. Score specially priced drinks and appetizers during the daily 2:30–6 p.m. happy hour. Saturday, March 16 and Sunday, March 17, 336 St. Mary St., website.
Put your dancing shoes on and head out to Redux for its annual bash. Happy hour runs all day, beginning at noon. Guest receive free green beads, which they can wear as they do their best pose for the photographer. Sunday, March 17, no cover before 11 p.m., 21 and over, 1411 Locust St., website.
Head to this off-the-beaten-path bar for drink and shot specials, plus two DJs spinning "everything from Irish punk to old-fashioned pub favorites." Best part? There's no cover. Sunday, March 17, no cover, 2580 N. Main St., website.
Walnut Creek Yacht Club
The Yacht Club’s Ellen McCarty fully embraces her heritage for the holiday, and this year is no different. The restaurant will offer a full special drink menu, including St. Stephen’s Green—Beefeater’s gin, green crème de menthe, cucumber, lime juice, ginger ale, and mint—and a mix of Irish whiskey, Irish cream, white chocolate liqueur, and grated nutmeg called the Blarney Stone. From 3–6 p.m., take advantage of craic, a special Irish happy hour. Saturday, March 16, 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m., 1555 Bonanza St., wcyc.net.