When your last name is Kelly, the St. Patrick’s Day holiday inevitably claims a very special place in your heart. Some of my fondest childhood memories come from sitting in the living room of my grandparents’ apartment, watching coverage of New York’s St. Patrick Day parade on television, while my grandmother prepared her annual traditional Irish feast in the kitchen.
Grandma Kelly honestly wasn’t much of a cook – she boiled everything, corned beef brisket, cabbage and white potatoes, and then encouraged us to slather the results in Gulden’s brown mustard – but I treasured this special day that celebrated our family's heritage.
Besides, when else can you get away with wearing multiple, violently clashing shades of green and/or brazenly getting drunk in public?
So if you’re looking to create some of your own lifelong St. Patrick’s Day memories, here are some some bars and restaurants where you can celebrate the holiday in Fort Worth. And remember: the very best thing about St. Patrick’s Day is that you need not be of Gaelic to enjoy it. (We Irish are a welcoming and all-inclusive lot.)
Dublin Square: Calling itself “an Irish pub with a dash of Texas tradition,” this North Fort Worth spot takes St. Patrick’s Day seriously; there’s even a running ticker on the pub’s website, counting down the seconds until March 17. Dublin Square will once again be hosting an all-day party, with live music and plenty of green beer. The menu features a number of traditional Irish dishes (Guinness stew), and less traditional ones (such as the “Irish Nachos”).
Poag Mahone’s: The West 7th St. staple will be hosting its sixth annual St. Patrick’s Day Madness block party, this year with a live performance by Rhythm Stealin’, a Beastie Boys tribute band (presumably The Clancy Brothers tribute band was already booked?).
Finn MacCool’s: This nicely appointed and very welcoming bar, located on the corner of 8th and Allen Avenues, would be worth a visit any day of the year. But the annual St. Patrick’s Day block party, with live music and outdoor service, is a particular blast. Green beer and Guinness special abound. (Personally, Jameson neat is my St. Paddy’s beverage of choice.)
Chef Point Café: If you’re looking to get your corned beef-and-cabbage jones satisfied, head north to this funky outpost located just beyond the Fort Worth border in Watauga. It's a gas station convenience store that’s been converted into a full-service bar and restaurant where for the past few St. Patrick's Days, chef Franson Nwaeze has served up traditional Irish specials. No word yet on this year’s menu, but keep an eye on Chef Point’s Facebook page for updates.
Of course, this list just scratches the surface of St. Patrick’s-themed events in the Fort Worth area: Stockyards Station will once again be hosting its annual Cowtown Goes Green festival, on March 15th, a daylong, family-friendly event, featuring face-painting, a petting zoo and a parade; and other Irish-bars, like Paddy Reds Irish Pub and Rick O’Shea’s Pub, both in downtown Fort Worth, will likely be crowded with revelers.
If you’re aware of other great ways to get your craic on in Fort Worth this year, post them in the comments section below.
And, of course, Erin go bragh!