St. Patrick’s Day is here and many of you are ready to embrace the Irish spirit.
But how, exactly, is today’s poll question.
With various ways to celebrate around town, we’d like to know how you plan to enjoy the festivities today. Will you be visiting one of Arlington’s Irish bars, attending a St. Paddy’s bash at another local watering hole, or just wearing something green, downing a Shepherd’s Pie at home and calling it a day?
To be honest, this is a pretty straight-forward question, so to fill some extra space we asked ChatGPT to tell us some non-offensive Irish jokes.
Q: Why don’t you iron a four-leaf clover?
A: Because you don’t want to press your luck!
Q: Why did the leprechaun go to school?
A: To improve his “elf”-esteem!
It went on in that vein, ChatGPT apparently being trained on the most groan-worthy dad jokes. We started encouraging it to get edgier, resulting in the following.
An American tourist walks into a pub in Ireland and orders a pint of Guinness. As he’s sipping on his drink, he strikes up a conversation with the old man sitting next to him. “You see this bar?” the old man says, pointing to the wooden counter. “I built it with my own two hands. But do they call me Seamus the Bar Builder? No.”
He takes another sip and continues, “And you see that stone wall outside? I built that too, stone by stone. But do they call me Seamus the Wall Builder? No.”
Seamus pauses, takes a deep breath, and adds with a grin, “But you kiss one goat…”
Okay ChatGPT, now we’re getting somewhere. For the finale, we wanted to incorporate a wee bit of local flair. After a few uninspired iterations, we suggested some characters from the commentariat and here’s what the AI came up with.
One evening at a local pub in Arlington, Virginia, Flood Czar, the Mayor of Arlington, and Dave Schutz were engaged in a heated debate. Dave, as usual, was trying to convince everyone that Arlington should seize and redevelop the local golf course.
Flood Czar, growing tired of Dave’s persistence, decided to put an end to the argument with a witty remark. He leaned in and said, “You know, Dave, I’ve finally figured out why you’re so obsessed with turning the golf course into something else.”
Dave, eager to hear the Mayor’s perspective, asked, “Oh really? Do tell.”
Flood Czar grinned and replied, “It’s because the only time you can hit the green is when you’re wearing it on St. Patrick’s Day!”
The entire pub erupted in laughter.
Without further ado, here’s the poll.
Photo via Cobalt123/Flickr
The SoberRide program will kick off at 4 p.m. on Friday, March 17, and will be active until 4 a.m. on Saturday, March 18.
According to a press release from WRAP:
During this twelve-hour period, area residents ages 21 and older celebrating with alcohol may download the Lyft app to their phones, then enter the SoberRide code in the app’s ‘Promo’ section to receive their no-cost (up to $15) safe transportation home. WRAP’s 2023 St. Patrick’s Day SoberRide promo code will be posted at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, March 17th on www.SoberRide.com.
The program is offered around the region, including in Arlington and surrounding localities.
The release noted that last year, 482 people in the region took advantage of the SoberRide program. WRAP also offers the SoberRide program on Cinco de Mayo, Independence Day, Halloween, and the winter holidays.
In addition to major sponsors like Amazon and the 395 Express Lanes, several Irish restaurants have helped to sponsor SoberRide this year, including Arlington’s own O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub (3207 Washington Blvd).
(Updated at 10 p.m.) Next Friday, March 17, is a celebration of all things Irish: the release of a new Hozier EP.
But for some local bars and the Catholic Church, next Friday is more notably St. Patrick’s Day. The weekend is set to be marked with celebrations of Irish dancing, music, and drinking.
Some of the local happenings are listed below.
- Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Blvd)
A combined St. Patrick’s Day and March Madness celebration called Irish Madness Fest. The bar will be showing NCAA games and there will be bands, DJs, drink specials, a buffet and more. Doors open at noon and the event runs all day.
- The Lot (3217 10th Street N.)
The Lot is celebrating its last St. Patrick’s Day with Shamrock & Roll, featuring live entertainment, food trucks, and of course the quintessentially Irish tiki bar and “adult sandpit.”
- Wilson Hardware (2915 Wilson Blvd)
The Clarendon bar is celebrating with Guinness and Jameson specials from opening to 9 p.m., along with an all-night dance party.
- The Celtic House (2500 Columbia Pike)
Staff said the St. Patrick’s Day event will start at 9 a.m. and include a full day of music and Irish dancing.
- O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub (3207 Washington Blvd)
The Irish pub will have Irish dancers and live music on both Friday, March 17 and Saturday, March 18.
- McNamara’s Pub and Restaurant (567 23rd Street S.)
The bar will be open, but it won’t be a special event — St. Patrick’s Day will be just another day that ends in “y” — we’re told.
- Mattie & Eddie’s (1301 S. Joyce Street)
Staff said the restaurant will have live music for the holiday.
- The Union (3811 Fairfax Drive)
The Ballston bar is offering 50% off for all small plates until 8 p.m. for anyone wearing green and 50% off drinks after 8 p.m., also for anyone wearing green.
- Samuel Beckett’s Irish Gastro Pub (2800 S. Randolph Street)
Doors will open at 10 a.m. and live Irish music will be performed all day, a manager tells us. There will also be live Irish dancing performances throughout the day.
B Social Hospitality, meanwhile, will be hosting its Leprechaun Lap Bar Crawl across multiple locations in Clarendon this coming Saturday, March 11. Tickets range from $10 to $20. The crawl includes giveaways and drink specials, including (distastefully named) $8 car bombs.
One notable absence from the above list is the venerable Ireland’s Four Courts in Courthouse. Four Courts remains closed but is being rebuilt, after a rideshare vehicle plowed into it last summer, seriously injuring several patrons and sparking a devastating fire.
After a five-year hiatus, there will again be a bar crawl in Clarendon in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.
The last such bar crawl happened in 2018. The next year, more stringent county regulations were blamed for a dearth of bar crawls. Then, of course, the pandemic struck. But now, crawls are making a comeback.
“The infamous Leprechaun Lap is making its way to Clarendon on Saturday, March 11th!” says the registration page for the St. Paddy’s-themed event. “Join the shenanigans to Clarendon’s best bars, patios and rooftops, featuring all day drink specials, DJs, bands, signature party favors, and giveaways.”
Early bird ticket pricing of $10 ends later today, after which the price goes to $20 plus fees.
The crawl is being organized by B Social Events, from Clarendon nightlife power couple Christal and Mike Bramson. The bars listed as crawl destinations — including Clarendon Ballroom, B Live and Pamplona — are all Bramson owned. (Their company also has a crawl in D.C.’s Dupont Circle neighborhood planned for the same day.)
The event listing promises more bars being added to the crawl in the near future.
More on the Clarendon crawl, below.
Don your green and get ready for your St. Patrick’s Day bar crawl adventure!
What do you get:
- Access to Clarendon’s Best Bars, Patios, and Rooftops
- Drink Specials ($3 beers, $4 shamrock shots, $5 mixed drinks, $8 car bombs)
- St. Patrick’s Day Swag & Free Giveaways
- Entertainment and DJs
Your Favorite DC Bars Are Going Green:
- Clarendon Ballroom + Rooftop
- The Lot
- B Live
- And more bars are coming soon…
*Registration is from 3-6pm. If you can not make it on time, have a friend pick up your wristband.
Tickets are non refundable, however, they are transferable.
This is a 21+ event. Please drink responsibly.
The annual St. Patrick’s Day-themed race, sponsored by Ireland’s Four Courts and organized by Pacers, will shut down Wilson Blvd between N. Courthouse Road to N. Rhodes Street starting at 6 a.m. and, then, the rest of Wilson Blvd to Route 110 starting at 8:30 a.m.
Northbound Route 110 will also be closed from I-395 to I-66 starting at 8:30 a.m. Southbound Route 110 will remain open through the duration of the race. Metro buses will continue to operate, though detoured.
All the roads will reopen at 11 a.m.
Arlington County Police Department recommends using Route 50 to get to Courthouse Road and Langston Blvd to get through Rosslyn. Street parking will be limited in the area, so be on the lookout for “no parking” signs.
Runners and spectators are encouraged to use Metro or other forms of “multimodal transportation.”
The Four Courts Four Miler is one of a number of St. Patrick’s Day festivities in Arlington. The race was canceled in 2020 due to the emerging pandemic and was virtual last year. This year, it’s back to being in-person, though there remains a virtual option.
The race starts at 9 a.m. The first half of the course is downhill while the second half is uphill, notes the race information page.
After the run, the nearly-three-decade old Irish pub in Courthouse will host live music and Irish dancers all day, until last call at 1:30 a.m., per the pub’s website.
Police Holding St. Paddy’s Event — “On Friday, March 18 from 8-10 p.m., join officers on N. Hudson Street at Wilson Boulevard in Clarendon for the Don’t Press Your Luck anti-drunk driving event. This event is free and open to the public and is designed to highlight the effect alcohol has on motor skills.” [ACPD]
Sub Suspended for Russia Rant — “Arlington Public Schools has suspended a substitute teacher who, during a Spanish class, expressed approval of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine and urged students to read Russian-run propaganda outlets. The substitute, John Stanton, 65, made the comments during an eighth-grade Spanish lesson on Friday at Swanson Middle School.” [Washington Post]
How to Help Ukraine — “Arlington and Ivano-Frankivsk were formally declared sister cities on March 4, 2011… The Arlington Sister City Association has identified the following trusted organizations as providing a variety of services to the Ukrainian people. Please consider helping our friends during this difficult time.” [Arlington County]
Local Foster Dog Delivers — From the Animal Welfare League of Arlington: “If you order through UberEats, keep an eye out – Orlando might be your delivery-dog! Orlando loves joining his foster mom on delivery runs, and always sings along to the songs on the radio. We give him a 5-star rating!” [Twitter]
‘Freedom Convoy’ May Be Coming — “The U.S. protesters inspired by the self-styled ‘Freedom Convoy’ that occupied downtown Ottawa for weeks headed out from Southern California last week for a cross-country trip to the D.C. region. They plan to arrive this weekend, and Virginia State Police describes the convoy as a “still-fluid situation.” [Washington Post]
It’s Friday — Clear throughout the day. High of 46 and low of 26. Sunrise at 6:37 am and sunset at 6:06 pm. [Weather.gov]
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.
Going to a bar or a party to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day during a pandemic might not be the best idea, but drinking and driving is an even worse idea.
To help prevent the latter, the D.C. area SoberRide program will be offering free Lyft rides from 4 p.m. today to 2 a.m. tomorrow.
The free rides will be available on the Lyft app via a promo code that will be revealed on the SoberRide website at 3 p.m.
If you have already been vaccinated and want to head out for a pint or two today, there are a number of options for celebrating at Arlington’s Irish pubs. Due to capacity restrictions, however, there may be long waits or reservations required at some venues.
More from a SoberRide press release, below.
While stating unequivocally that “we’re all safer at home” this St. Patrick’s Day during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, a local nonprofit organization today announced that – as a “necessary safety net” to this week’s high-risk, high-alcohol consumption period — free safe rides will be offered to would-be drunk drivers throughout the Washington-metropolitan area on St. Patrick’s Day.
Offered by the nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), the 2021 St. Patrick’s Day SoberRide® program will be in operation beginning at 4:00 pm this Wednesday, March 17, 2021 (St. Patrick’s Day) and operate until 2:00 am on Thursday, March 18, 2021 as a way to keep local roads safe from impaired drivers during this traditionally high-risk holiday.
“While we’re all safer at home, we are also a public safety organization which regularly looks to mitigate risk,” said Kurt Erickson, WRAP’s President. “We therefore urge all Greater Washington area residents to respect public health restrictions this St. Patrick’s Day. However, if persons do venture out and alcohol is involved, we are all benefited from the safety net role which the region’s SoberRide program plays to remove drunk drivers from area roadways.”
During SoberRide’s hours of operation this St. Patrick’s Day, area residents age 21 and older celebrating with alcohol may download the Lyft app to their phones, then enter a SoberRide® code in the app’s “Promo” section to receive their no cost (up to $15) safe transportation home. The St. Patrick’s Day SoberRide® promo code will be posted at 3:00 pm on March 17th on www.SoberRide.com.
Blown Transformer Knocks Out Power — A power transformer blew Friday night near the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. George Mason Drive, knocking out power to the surrounding neighborhood and parts of Ballston and Virginia Square, and prompting a road closure due to the fire department response. [Twitter, Twitter]
Catholic Schools Walk COVID Tightrope — “No one — not students, parents or staff, public or private, liberal or conservative — prefers learning while locked down during a pandemic. But area Catholics are using the crisis forced on us all to innovate boldly. They feel blessed.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Crowds May Flock to Arlington for St. Paddy’s — “Bar owner Mike Bramson, who operates the Clarendon PopUp Bar… says he’s expecting a full house in VA — something he might not see in DC. ‘I do believe people are traveling to Virginia spaces. It’s frustrating to have one location being overbooked [Clarendon Pop-Up] and another location losing business [Rebel Taco DC],’ says Bramson. He says the main deterrent in DC right now is the six-person table limit and 10 PM alcohol curfew.” [Washingtonian]
Beyer Supports Moon Mission — “There is support in Congress. ‘I clearly want to keep building on what we’ve done already,’ Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), the new chair of the House Science subcommittee on space and aeronautics, said in an interview. ‘The 2024 goal may have been a reach, so let’s see what we can do to get our moon landing back on track.'” [Washington Post]
Arlington Police K-9 Retires — “Please join ACPD in wishing a happy retirement to K9 Jax as he finishes his final tour of duty today! We are grateful for his years of dedicated service to the Arlington Community through patrol and narcotics detection.” [Twitter]
Senior Sees Son For First Time in a Year — “97-year-old Mary Cavanaugh has finally seen her son Mike Cavanaugh and daughter-in-law Marie Cavanaugh after more than a year. They’re all fully vaccinated, and with strong hugs and kisses, they were able to reunite as a family at Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads.” [NBC 4]
(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 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.
More on Arlington’s Drive-Through Testing — “Arlington County and the Virginia Hospital Center launched a coronavirus sampling site Wednesday, but a short supply of test kits and limited lab processing ability are forcing them to be selective with who they see.” [WAMU]
Grocery Stores With Senior-Only Shopping Hours — “Some DC-area grocery stores are offering or plan to offer special shopping hours for senior citizens, and in some cases other vulnerable people, during the coronavirus crisis. [Washingtonian, Twitter]
County Asks Landlords for Leniency — “We ask that you consider now what you can do to ease burdens for tenants who may have difficulty paying their rent in the coming months because of illness or financial hardship related to ongoing business disruptions and closures.” [Arlington County]
Cristol to Commercial Landlords: Don’t Fire Cleaners — “These men and women are the unsung heroes of the Coronavirus pandemic and they can least afford to lose wages and benefits during this crisis. At the same time that cleaners and security officers have stepped forward to do their jobs during this outbreak, they are now being threatened with layoffs and reductions.” [Press Release]
St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Questioned — The Celtic House on Columbia Pike is closed now, but it was one of the only local bars to stay fully open on St. Patrick’s Day. Some are questioning that decision as governments and medical professionals urge people to stay at home and maintain social distancing to prevent the spread of the deadly disease. [Facebook, Twitter]
Some Restaurants Decide to Close Completely — Galaxy Hut in Clarendon, which initially stayed open for takeout meals, is instead “shutting this puppy down.” [Twitter]
Arlington Musician Takes Shows Online — “Singer and songwriter Justin Trawick’s livelihood as a stage performer who did more than a dozen shows a month ground to a halt recently as the coronavirus pandemic shut down his concert venues.” [Reuters]
County Permit Office Closed — “The Arlington County Permit Office is now CLOSED for in-person customer service. Many services remain available online.” [Twitter]