The luck of the Irish is back! One year after the pandemic cancelled most restaurant events for St. Patrick's Day and Weekend, Center City restaurants will be offering creative ways to celebrate in a safe and socially distanced way for 2021.
I interviewed Teddy Sourias, owner of Irish pub Finn McCool’s Ale House
for 20 years now. Sourias also owns BRU Craft & Wurst and Tradesman's under Craft Concepts Group. “St. Patrick’s Day is a huge party. Last year, it was right before the pandemic. It wasn't a regular St. Patrick's Day, obviously, because everybody's starting to get scared. And we knew that a shutdown was coming because we had whispers of it,” he said.
Sourias said last March 15th when the shutdown happened, it was terrible for his restaurants. “That's one of the busiest days of the year for us, for all my restaurants, but Finn’s being an Irish pub, that was a big deal,” he said. “This year, skipping a year and then coming back to a little bit of normalcy feels amazing for us. Everyone is excited about it.”
More and more people that Sourias knows are getting vaccinated. “That's a great sign. We're hopefully expecting to be back to normal. This year for St. Patrick's Day, obviously we're following guidelines,” he said. “I think that people will be more open to coming out for a Wednesday where a regular Wednesday would be completely dead during the pandemic.”
Now that everything is opening back up, Sourias is happy to have an extra day to make a little bit of extra business, to try to get back to the numbers
Craft Concepts Group was at last year. The city is allowing members of different households to dine together outside--and it's six people per table as before it was four. Sourias said that is a big deal.
Craft Concepts Group had 330 employees but due to the pandemic, Sourias “laid off pretty much all of them except for the kitchen crew and some management that we kept on. So obviously that was terrible for us just to see all your business shuttered. And we were the first ones to board up because the first week went by, the second week went by and then I didn't see any light at the end of the tunnel. Luckily, we did board up because soon after is when everything happened (protests over George Floyd’s death and looting of stores) and we were already boarded up.”
“We haven't thought of doing a special for a long time. It's exciting to say, ‘We're going to bring some people out. We're going to have some specials, some cocktail specials’,” he concluded.
Craft Concepts Group’s St. Patrick's food and drink features include the return of their green beer - and this year you can add a touch of the pot of gold with edible glitter. At BRU and Tradesman's, look for Irish Coffee, drink features, and BRU Bangers and Mash - available for indoor and outdoor seating, private heated tents available, and cocktails/food to go.
Finn McCool's will offer expanded outdoor seating, plus Irish Coffee, and Traditional bangers and mash. Tradesman's and Finn McCool's will offer added service for food and drink for take-out.
Evil Genius Beer Company will offer a St. Patrick's Day Quizzo and two Special Beer Release. Follow the rainbow of Skittles to the end of the rainbow for a magically delicious beer made with heaps of Lucky Charms cereal. March 12th was the debut of Magically Delicious sold in 4 packs of 16 oz. cans - 7.2% Hazy Oatmeal IPA brewed with heaps of Lucky Charms Cereal, Mosaic and Chinook Hops.
Then on March 23rd, drink the rainbow with the release of Ermahgerd Skurtles sold in 4 packs of 16 oz. cans - a Kettle Sour. This beer was brewed with sour Skittles and aged on Key Lime and Cherry puree. On St. Patrick's Day itself, look for a special St. Patrick's Day celebration in the Lab with indoor socially distanced seating, beer, food (corned beef hash special), Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly concerts on the TV before/after Quizzo, and special St. Patricks Quizzo.
Before the fire at Bridget Foy's in Society Hill, locals, visitors, and neighbors not only dined at the South Street hot spot, but they also spent major holidays there. Now, three years later, Bridget, Paul, John and Bernadette present one of their favorite holidays. They will be offering the following dinner specials (4pm-9pm): Guinness Beef Stew, Corned Beef & Cabbage, Chocolate Whiskey Cake with chocolate buttercream and baileys ganache, Guinness Draft, Irish Whiskey Flight and Irish Coffee - plus other surprises.
Village Whiskey is back open and ready to celebrate with a St. Paddy's Day Inspired Burger of the Month. Look for To Fineghy and Beyond all month long - featuring Lamb Burger, Irish Dubliner Cheddar, Jameson Cipollini Onions, Guinness Mustard, Bread & Butter Pickles, served on a Potato Bun. Also, look for special and extensive selections of Whiskey to pair with your burger during the month of March. Available for indoor seating in the new dining room or original bar dining room - plus for take-out and delivery.