By Patty Bobek
Ah, St. Patrick’s Day – my favorite drinking day of the year. Albeit, I’m a little biased considering it’s also my birthday. But that’s neither here nor there – the most important thing to be doing this Monday is not studying for finals. Studying is for squares. No, the most important activity you should be doing is what we Gauchos do best – drinking.
I support drinking of all kinds this Patty’s Day. The holiday does give you the excuse to down eight pints of Guinness. But one pint of Guinness usually makes me feel like I just ingested a roast dinner. You can imagine how one must feel seven pints later.
Although Ireland provides us with a plethora of alcoholic treats, don’t discriminate this St. Patrick’s Day. Sure, you should give a shout out to Jameson’s and even sample Ireland’s traditional cider, Magners. But when it comes down to it, green beer is just beer with green in it. It doesn’t matter if its Smithwick’s or Blue Moon, or even – gulp – Natty Ice.
Go against tradition, comrades, and incorporate a little of everyone this Patty’s Day. For a Mexican-themed Irish bash, add green dye to your Coronas. Or better yet, make green margaritas. For the classy winos out there, add green dye to your favorite glass of pinot grigio.
The point is: Don’t focus on what you drink this upcoming Monday. Focus on drinking. Celebrate the end of the quarter and the beginning of spring. Celebrate the fact that here at UCSB, you can do a keg stand this Monday and still make it to your Tuesday final. Do what we do best.
Have a safe and jolly St. Patrick’s Day. Save me a seat at the bar. And another one on Tuesday for our 8 a.m. final.
There is only one way to get the most out of any holiday and that is by enjoying it to the fullest. In the case of St. Patrick’s Day that means drinking life the way the Irish do every day. I don’t mean simply wearing green, and I swear, if someone pinches me they’ll have my fist in their stomach. Next Monday, the only way to party like the Irish is to drink like they do. And drink a lot.
While researching one of the bars in this piece, I ordered a Whiskey & Coke with Jameson’s Irish Whiskey, while my partner decided to be lame and go for a Rum & Coke with Bacardi. Bacardi is headquartered in Bermuda, which is nowhere near Ireland. How can you prepare for a story about Irish drinks without being under the influence from some booze from Ireland? Blasphemy.
On Monday, it’s only appropriate to go big or go home. Would you have an Irish Car Bomb to celebrate Chinese New Year? No way. Start with whiskey, because the best kinds hail from Ireland. Whether it’s the single malt variety like Bushmills or a blended whiskey like Kilbeggan, the Irish know their whiskey. Maybe that’s why they fight so much.
No St. Patrick’s Day should go by without an Irish Car Bomb, but the Irish know their beer, too. Ireland offers more than just Guinness, but this classic is a staple of any celebration. Stay away from the green beer -just because it’s green doesn’t mean its Irish. The holiday should be celebrated like they do across the pond, so pretend to be Irish for a day and get ridiculous with the real stuff. Who cares about finals, anyway?
By Patty Bobek and Chris Hoffman
St. Patrick’s Day began as a feast day in Ireland to celebrate its patron saint. Today, the holiday is celebrated throughout the world with parades and floats, traditional Irish music and – more notably in Isla Vista, anyway – drinking. This week, On the Menu goes green and explores Santa Barbara’s finest Irish bars and pubs to see how they will be celebrating Patty’s Day.
Dargan’s Irish Pub & Restaurant
18 E. Ortega St., Santa Barbara
Price: $7 – $15
For the most authentic Irish experience in Santa Barbara, Dargan’s Irish Pub and Restaurant is the only choice. Located just off State Street, the inviting atmosphere includes a full-service restaurant, along with a bar specializing in an enormous variety of Irish drinks.
Dargan’s story began almost a decade ago by four friends from Ireland who came to Santa Barbara to play soccer, manager Matt Consalvo said. Since its inception about 10 years ago, the restaurant and pub have expanded, allowing room for 243 patrons.
The menu features more than 15 different kinds of Irish whiskey, ranging from typical brands like Jameson’s and Tullamore Dew to the more exotic such as Connemara, Redbreast and Michael Collins. Beer connoisseurs will not be disappointed, as Consalvo said Dargan’s offers Guinness, Smithwick’s Ale, along with the rarer Harp Lager on tap, imported straight from Ireland. They also offer Magners Cider and the non-alcoholic Kaliber in bottles, he said.
“We do pour the best pint of Guinness in town,” Consalvo said. “We’re the only and best place to get traditional Irish food. Between that and the Guinness, it should seal the deal for people to come.”
Patrons will find much more than just drinks at Dargan’s, as traditional Irish dishes like corned beef and cabbage, bangers and mash and Dargan’s Irish stew are always available. The appetizers have a distinct Irish feel, including Irish potato skins and Tempura beer-battered onion rings, with Bushmill’s Irish crème brulee ready to satisfy any customer’s sweet tooth.
With the biggest Irish holiday right around the corner, Dargan’s is ready to make its already lively atmosphere even more electric. Consalvo said the restaurant plans to host several Irish bands such as The Foggy Dew on this fine day.
“We always have live music [on St. Patrick’s Day]. It’s more traditional during the day and we have traditional food like fish and chips, Irish stew, Shepherd’s pie and various items,” Consalvo said.
Consalvo said the normal menu will not be offered on St. Patrick’s Day, but instead the restaurant will feature their traditional Irish food in a buffet-style setting, where patrons pay one flat price and then help themselves. Normally the restaurant and bar open at 4:30 p.m. on Mondays, but Consalvo said for St. Patrick’s Day they will open at 11:30 a.m.
Dargan’s bartender Yvonne Owens said the appeal of the bar is its warm and friendly atmosphere.
“It’s a very friendly, comfortable environment,” Owens said. “It caters to family, college and tourists. [St. Patrick’s Day] will be crazy. There’s a lot of regulars who come in here and they make the place fun.”
Owens said there is a traditional Irish word that she likes to share with the customers. In Ireland, the word, “craic” – pronounced “crack” – means fun.
“So we tell people ‘Come in for the craic,'” she said.
To drink like a fish from the Emerald Isle, swim over to Dargan’s from 4:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday and from 11:30 a.m. until 2 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. For St. Patrick’s Day, the restaurant will open at 11:30 a.m. and close at 2 a.m.
As in George?
523 State St., Santa Barbara
Price: $6 – $12
One of the original local bars, O’Malley’s has become a State Street staple since its opening 20 years ago. Originating as a cigar bar, and famous for Michael Jordan’s sporadic appearances, manager Duane Jeter said the bar is definitely a favorite among the locals.
“In 1998 and 1999 this was the place to be because of the cigar lounge upstairs, but the smoking law ended that,” Jeter said.
However, Jeter said the lack of a cigar lounge has not deterred the livelihood of the bar because it offers great service from a staff of really close friends,
“It’s a feel-good place,” he said.
He said that on St. Patrick’s Day, the upstairs sports bar, outdoor patio and main bar will all be open for the festivities.
In addition to its constant supply of Guinness on tap, Jeter said the bar will offer green beer on Monday. Patrons can choose any beer they want for the special St. Patrick’s Day concoction.
Jeter said the bar has stayed successful due to its traditional operation and also flourished because of many word of mouth recommendations.
“We have a good time with everybody, and that’s trickled down from the owner down to the bartenders,” he said.
O’Malley’s is open every day from noon to 2 a.m., but if you’re looking to get banjaxed, Happy Hour is from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and features $1 off on drafts and cocktails.
Brew It Up
Hollister Brewing Company
6980 Marketplace Dr., Goleta
Price: $6 – $20
St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are not only for Irish joints, as is evident by the Hollister Brewing Company’s pending bash. Hollister Brewing Company brings the party to Goleta, brewing a special beer for the holiday to go along with the 14 other beers already on tap. According to owner and brewer Eric Rose, also highlighting the beer menu is a Scottish 60 Schilling, a rye malt brewed with rye grains instead of other traditional grains.
“We brewed an Irish style dry stout special for St. Patrick’s Day, and we’re going to be having a cask of that served in a traditional Irish and English manner,” he said. “It is fermented in a separate container to enhance the taste.”
Offering a full menu of pizzas and paninis, the Brewing Company also includes a variety of salads as well as local favorites, such as the Santa Barbara Fish Tacos and the Hollister Burger. The restaurant also features six red wines and six white wines, giving patrons another dozen opportunities to enjoy the holiday at one of Santa Barbara’s finest breweries. The Hollister Brewing Company provides a St. Patrick’s Day opportunity unlike anywhere else around, and the owner said that breweries fit the mold of the Irish holiday better than anywhere.
“It’s a drinking holiday and we’re a brewery,” Rose said.
Catch your lucky charms at the Hollister Brewing Company every day from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m., with a happy hour on weekdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
All three of these establishments offer a suitable atmosphere for every kind of drinker. Be it live music, green booze or specialty Irish beer brewed for the holiday, Santa Barbara’s restaurants and pubs have something for everyone.