Press Club

(Updated 4:30 p.m. 3/11/21) Although it might not be a normal St. Patrick’s Day, local restaurants and bars are finding a way to celebrate.

The pandemic was not kind to Arlington restaurants. At least 26 places have closed since last March, including the Pentagon City Irish pub Siné (though a replacement is trying to open soon).

The lockdown started right before St. Patrick’s Day last year, canceling the festivities at Ireland’s Four Courts in Courthouse and other popular mid-March gathering spots.

This year, local restaurants are finding ways to safely celebrate. Rather than packing in shoulder-to-shoulder crowds, as might happen during the before times, most places are requiring or highly recommending reservations due to limited capacity. Some have expanded their outdoor seating and some are spreading out their celebration over a few days to avoid crowding.

Below is a list of some local restaurants that are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Arlington this year.

Celtic House (2500 Columbia Pike) The Celtic House will be celebrating its Irish roots with an extended St. Patrick’s Day celebration. The festivities will kick off on Friday, March 12 and conclude on Wednesday, March 17. A full Irish menu and specials will be available. Reservations are highly advised due to limited capacity. For information call (703) 746-9644.

Ireland’s Four Courts (2051 Wilson Blvd) Celebrating its 26th St. Patrick’s Day, Four Courts is ready to pick up where it left off last year. The pub will be celebrating March 13-15 and on March 17. There will be Irish dancers on the patio in the afternoon. Due to the pandemic, bar seating will be closed and there will be no live music inside. Making reservations is highly encouraged due to limited seating. For information call (703) 525-3600.

McNamara’s Pub & Restaurant (567 23rd Street S.) — The festivities start early at McNamara’s this year with doors opening at 9 a.m. on March 17. Because of the pandemic, there is a two-hour limit at tables, and reservations are highly recommended. The patio will be open, weather permitting. For information call (703) 302-3760.

O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub (3207 Washington Blvd) O’Sullivan’s has three days of live music and Irish celebrations lined up. On Friday, March 12, Britton James will be performing at 8 p.m. On Saturday, March 13, Uncle Jesse will be performing at 8 p.m. On March 17, Irish dancers will perform at 2 p.m, Pete Baker will perform at 3 p.m. and Willem Dicke will perform at 6 p.m. Their traditional Irish menu will feature dishes such as their homemade Irish bread topped with smoked salmon, corned beef, beef and Guinness stew, and fish & chips. First come, first serve. For information call (703) 812-0939.

Samuel Beckett’s Irish Gastro Pub (2800 S. Randolph Street) – Samuel Beckett’s will open its doors from 10 a.m. to midnight on March 17. There will be Irish dancers at 5 p.m., as well as live music from Eddie Pasa at 5:30 p.m. If you are not comfortable eating in the pub, Samuel Beckett’s is offering “Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at Home” kits. Family-style meals (serving six people) will be offered as well as a limited supply of Jameson cocktail kits. Orders must be placed at least 24 hours in advance. For information or to order the at-home St. Patrick’s Day kit call (703) 379-0122.

Whitlow’s On Wilson (2854 Wilson Blvd) — Whitlow’s will kick off the St. Patrick’s Day festivities with a live music performance from DjKillabeats24 on Saturday, March 13. On March 17, Irish food will be available along with live music from Timmie Metz featuring Tambo starting at 6 p.m. The rooftop will also be open for patrons, weather permitting. For information call (703) 276-9693.

File photo

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Morning Notes

Governor Urges Va. Residents to Wear Masks — “Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on Friday urged all residents to wear a cloth mask if they must leave their home… In light of the state’s prohibition of wearing masks law, Northam said Friday that “no law enforcement will be bothering anybody because they have a covering on their face.” [Patch]

One-Day Donation Drive Results — Arlington County collected 3,484 food items, 269 boxes of N95 masks, 323 boxes of surgical masks and 740 homemade masks during a one-day donation drive on Friday. [Arlington County, NBC 4]

VHC Gets Mask Donations — “We continue to be amazed by the generosity of our community! Shout out to all of the individuals and businesses who have donated food and supplies to our team on the front lines of COVID-19.” [Instagram]

Pub Owner Now Working As Cop — Mark Kirwin, the Irish-born owner of Samuel Beckett’s in Shirlington and Kirwin’s on the Wharf in D.C., has closed both pubs during the coronavirus outbreak and is instead spending his days working as a reserve police office in the District. [RTE]

AM Water Main Break in CourthouseUpdated at 9:35 a.m. — “NB & SB N Courthouse Rd closed between 13th St N & 14th St N until further notice for emergency repairs. Seek an alternative route.” [Twitter]

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Expect road closures along Campbell Avenue in Shirlington tomorrow (Saturday) for the fifth annual Samuel Beckett’s Celtic Festival.

From 8 a.m.-8 p.m., the street will be closed from S. Randolph Street to the parking garage entrance in front of the Shirlington Harris Teeter.

The event itself runs from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Live music, as well as bagpipes, is scheduled both inside and outside Samuel Beckett’s Irish Gastro Pub (2800 S. Randolph Street).

After 7 p.m., the party is scheduled to continue inside the pub with a band performing from 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Irish food and drink vendors will be located along Campbell Avenue.

Street parking during the festival will also be restricted. Motorists are encouraged to park in the Randolph Square Parking Garage behind the pub.

Festival photos via Facebook

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Shirlington’s Samuel Beckett’s is expanding across the river with a new Irish pub at the District Wharf development in D.C.

Kirwan’s on the Wharf is expected to open in October, when the first phase of the massive, restaurant-filled waterfront development is set to hold its grand opening.

The new bar, from Beckett’s Irish-born owner Mark Kirwan, is reported to have seating for 235 indoors and outside. It will feature “live Irish music and genuine décor” while touting itself as “Washington’s only Irish pub on the water.”

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Beckett's Celtic Festival flyer (via Samuel Beckett's)

A bit of Ireland is coming to Campbell Avenue in Shirlington with the return of the annual Beckett’s Celtic Festival this Saturday, Sept. 19.

“The Beckett’s Celtic Festival is a celebration of Celtic food, drink and culture. It is an opportunity for the community to come together, enjoy themselves and take in the very best of Irish music, dance, food, drink and all around ‘craic,'” said Daniel Perranzas, a manger at festival host Samuel Beckett’s Irish Gastro Pub (2800 S. Randolph Street).

The festival runs from noon to 7 p.m. and there will be about 20 vendors lining Campbell Avenue, selling beer and food. Samuel Beckett’s will have a vendor stand and will sell Irish delicacies like shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash, corned beef reuben’s, Irish sausage rolls and bratwurst, Perranzas said.

Vendors will sell Irish draft beers, including Guinness, Smithwicks and Harp, along with Magner’s Cider and wine, he said.

There will also be live music and Irish dancing, both outside and inside the pub.

“The Celtic Festival was started three years ago as a way to connect with a community that has shown us such great warmth and hospitality and also to emphasize the deep connection that Irish heritage and culture holds within the many residents of this and every community,” Perranzas said. 

The Arlington County Police Department will close Campbell Avenue from S. Randolph Street to the parking garage at the Harris Teeter in Shirlington (4250 Campbell Ave.) from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday for the festival.

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Becketts Celtic Festival posterOne day in mid-September, the streets of Shirlington will be filled with bagpipes, dancers, men in kilts and pints of Guinness.

“Beckett’s Celtic Festival” will be held from noon to 7:00 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21 in Shirlington. During the festival, Campbell Avenue will be closed between S. Randolph Street and the Harris Teeter.

The event is being organized by Samuel Beckett’s Irish Gastro Pub. Owner Mark Kirwan said he saw a dearth of Irish events in the area, and took it upon himself to organize the festival.

“I think I’ve looked around and there doesn’t seem to be anywhere in Arlington that celebrates not just Irish but the Celtic heritage,” Kirwan said. “We just wanted to try to acknowledge the relationship that the Celtic nations have had with the USA. It’s nice to come out and put your kilt on and celebrate your history here.”

Kirwan said there will be a stage set up for bands brought over from Ireland to perform. The U.S. Marshal Pipe Band and several Irish dancing schools will put on displays of traditional Irish music and performance. Vendors will be set up in tents selling Celtic crafts, and classic Irish dishes — like Shepherd’s Pie, bangers and mash, corned beef sandwiches and Irish curry — will be served.

Kirwan said there will be a 40-foot Guinness “gig rig” trailer dispensing beer. Wine will also be sold.

“It’s going to be very much a family-oriented day out,” Kirwan said. The festival will be free for all to enter. “It should be a great day.”

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