Here’s how local pubs will be celebrating this year’s highly anticipated St. Patrick’s Day

Ireland’s Four Courts in Courthouse (Photo courtesy of Ireland’s Four Courts)

Local bars are planning St. Patrick’s Day events and preparing for crowds that area expected to be the largest in a couple of years.

After two years of Covid-related restrictions and muted St. Patrick’s Day festivities, management at several local Irish pubs tells ARLnow that they expect this year’s holiday on March 17 to be “mayhem.”

Be it making up for lost time, the need to get out after another pandemic winter, or the fact that the first day of March Madness also falls on the holiday, bars are preparing for huge numbers this year. For many, large crowds will be welcomed.

“[St. Patrick’s Day] is the biggest business day of the year for us,” Dave Cahill, General Manager at Ireland’s Four Courts in Courthouse. “We are all going to be making up for missing the last two years.”

Michael McMahon, co-owner of Celtic House on Columbia Pike, agrees, saying that they are prepping for an entire weekend of festivities in hopes of spreading out the crowds a bit.

He notes with the holiday falling on a Thursday this year, he anticipates there will be four straight days of crowds and big business at his pub.

If St. Paddy’s Day 2022 ends up being seen as a turning point, it will have come full circle for many local bar owners — March 17, 2020 was the day that Celtic House, along with a number of other local restaurants, shut down due to the emerging coronavirus.

Two years later, there’s a cautious optimism that this year’s St. Patrick’s Day may signal a return to some semblance of normalcy.

“I do hope this is close to the end,” says McMahon. “But I’m not a scientist or a doctor.”

Below is a list of Arlington restaurants and pubs that are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year.

  • Celtic House (2500 Columbia Pike in Penrose): Plan for Irish food, music, and dancing starting Thursday and continuing through the weekend at the pub once named the number one place to celebrate the holiday in the country. Reservations are not required, but are “important.” Call (703) 746-9644 for more information.
  • Ireland’s Four Courts (2051 Wilson Blvd in Courthouse): This pub will be celebrating its 27th St. Patrick’s Day by first hosting its annual Four Courts Four Miler on Saturday, March 12. The rest of the week will be filled with music, dancing, food, and, of course, beer. That also includes pre-holiday karaoke, trivia, and Guinness glass engravings. On St. Patrick’s Day, music will begin at 10 a.m. both indoors and outside. There’ll be a large outdoor tent and patio so patrons can celebrate the holiday outside. March Madness will also be on television. Reservations are recommended and call (703) 525-3600 for more information.
  • Mattie & Eddie’s (1301 S. Joyce Street in Pentagon City): There will be festivities Wednesday through Sunday at the Dublin-inspired restaurant at Westpost which opened a year ago. Irish musician Ciarán Quinn will be playing March 16, 18, and 20. There’ll be Irish dancing on St. Paddy’s Day plus a “Guinness and Jameson Brunch.” Call (571) 312-2665 for more information.
  • McNamara’s Pub and Restaurant (567 23rd Street S. in Crystal City): There will be live music throughout St. Patrick’s Day at this Irish pub that opened in late 2019. Tables and space are on a “first come, first serve” basis and no reservations are being accepted. Expect “mayhem,” ownership says. Call 703-302-3760 for more information.
  • O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub (3207 Washington Blvd in Clarendon): The nearly two-decade old pub and restaurant is set to have a whole week of St. Patrick’s Day festivities with live music every night starting Saturday, March 12 to Saturday, March 19. On Sunday, March 13, get your head shaved to help find a cure for childhood cancer. There will also be Irish dancers on that day as well as on St. Patrick’s Day. Irish trivia, pour a perfect Guinness contest, and Irish breakfast is set to happen throughout the week. Call (703) 812-0939 for more information.
  • Samuel Beckett’s Gastro Irish Pub (2800 S. Randolph Street in Shirlington): The 11-year-old Irish pub in Shirlington is planning to celebrate St. Paddy’s all week with drink specials, games, entertainment, and music. On Thursday, there will be Irish music from Lenny Burridge starting at 4 p.m. and Irish dancers all day. On Friday, there will be live music from Eddie Pasa starting at 8:30 p.m. and, on Saturday, Burridge will return for more Irish music. Reservations are recommended and call 703-379-0122 for more information.
  • The Lot (3217 10th Street N. in Clarendon): On Saturday, March 19, the outdoor beer garden will host ShamRock ‘N Roll starting at 2 p.m. The event is expected to draw a sizable crowd and will feature live entertainment, multiple bars, jello shots, yard games and food trucks. More information will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets are free, but registration is required.

If we missed any notable celebrations and events, please let us know in the comments.

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