Will you be looking for the luck of the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day? Before planning a trip to the Blarney Stone, visit Dargan’s Irish Pub and Restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara, where celebrating the holiday is serious business.
“We probably order 30 kegs of Guinness for that day, and we pretty much go through all of them,” says Dargan’s General Manager Tom Donnelly. The authentic Irish pub hosts an Irish fair with music and dancing from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. every St. Patrick’s Day. Because the holiday brings in so much extra traffic, the pool tables in the second room are converted into temporary dining tables where guest mingle while celebrating.
High quality ingredients and authentic recipes distinguish Dargan’s from other Irish eateries. Everything on the menu is under $21, including a variety of steaks, burgers and sandwiches. Only Irish food will be served on St. Patrick’s Day, when traditional dishes like corned beef and cabbage shepherd’s pie, and Irish stew take center stage. To make dining easier for visitors, Dargan’s will feature a special set menu on St. Patrick’s day at a fixed price around $15.
“Irish food isn’t fancy food,” Donnelly said. “It doesn’t come from a place that’s fancy or expensive. … It’s traditional food, and we do it really well here.”
For the holiday, customary music will be playing all day at Dargan’s, including an Irish band which plays at the pub every Thursday evening. Visitors from a dancing school in Ventura and bagpipe players from the Santa Barbara Sheriff ’s Department will also perform throughout the day. Dargan’s in Santa Barbara was opened in 1997 by Irish-immigrants who wanted to establish a bar they would enjoy. The pub was so successful, they opened a second location in Ventura.Happy hour at Dargan’s is from 4 to 7 p.m. every Monday through Friday. All appetizers are $6 and drink specials include $3 well drinks and $1 off Guinness. The restaurant also offers dinner specials priced between $15 and $25 every Friday.
The pub does not take reservations; so if you plan on visiting for St. Patrick’s Day, arrive early. In the past, holiday lines have wrapped around the block from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. and from 5 p.m. until midnight.