Whether you are into hitting the bars in a “Kiss-Me-I’m-Irish” shirt or getting a taste of the area’s Irish best, Chester County is full of Irish happenings to suit your fancy.
Hidden Pot O’ Gold in WC
For the past 30 years, West Chester has been home to Pennsylvania’s largest Irish retailer and it’s quite possible you never knew it. Tom and Adelene McDaniel started the Abbey Green Irish Shop with a $3,000 inventory they brought back from Ireland and displayed in the lobby of their motel, located on Route 202 S right outside of West Chester. The McDaniel’s converted the motel into a gift shop with room upon room of imported Irish crystal, Bellek china, wool clothing, traditional breakfast items, music and even Irish soda bread.
Gourmet Irish potatoes – For all your St. Patrick’s Day needs, including flags, mugs, buttons, sunglasses, CDs, gourmet Irish potatos, vests, hats and ties.
If you are in need of green wear for St. Patrick’s Day, you can find anything from Phillies shamrock shirts, flags, mugs, necklaces, hats and even leprechaun shoes. If that doesn’t do it for you, visit the Guinness Room where – you guessed it – you’ll find everything Guinness: bar packs, bar stools, pouring spoons and any type of clothing you can imagine with the traditional Irish brew logo.
If you’re hungry, check out the Irish Breakfast room with treats of all kinds for you to prepare at home. If you don’t feel like making it yourself, be sure to stop by the shop March 13-17 for the day-long Annual Irish Celebration. The McDaniels will be serving customers Irish coffee, bangers, rashers, black and white pudding, Irish soda bread and scones. As Tom said, “Jig, don’t jog to the Irish Abbey Gift shop for all of your St. Patty’s Day gear.”Abbey Green Irish Shop 1036 Wilmington Pike West Chester, PA 19382 610-692-3310
St. Patrick’s Day Festivities
Chester County boasts incredible adult-sized St. Patrick’s Day options, including live music, authentic Irish entertainment and some of the best beer – sans green food coloring – around.
McKenzie’s has an entire weekend of festivities planned for this popular Celtic holiday. The major happening of the weekend for the Brew House is, of course, a brew. In celebration of St. Pat’s, McKenzie’s will be unveiling their Reilly’s Irish Red Ale.
A troupe of Irish Dancers will be putting on 2 shows Saturday and Wednesday. A special Irish menu will be available Saturday through Wednesday to accompany the fine music and beer, McKenzie’s chefs have put together an authentic Irish menu that centers on lamb stew, shepherds pie and corned beef and cabbage and Irish Potato Ice Cream (locally made at Woodside Creamery.)www.kildarespub.com
Kildare’s has St. Pat’s Day activities covered. Start your celebrations early with the Kildare’s $20 VIP pass to get you a t-shirt, free 7 A.M. breakfast on the 17th with a pint and line-jumping abilities and no cover from the 13th-17th. On the 17th, start your day off with some “kegs and eggs,” listen to the Malarkey Brothers at Noon and stay for the Irish band Jameson from 9 P.M. to 1 A.M.
Saturday, the 13th, will be the day to celebrate at Ryan’s! Get your fill of Irish food and beer specials. Owner Pat Ryan welcomes everyone to “come on in and have a pint.”
Molly Maguire’s Irish Pub197 Bridge St. Phoenixville, PA 610-933-9550 www.mollymaguirespubs.com
On the 17th, Irish food and drink specials will be available all day! Doors open at 8 A.M. and live music starts at 10:30 A.M. with The Brigade, followed by tunes from Celtic Spirit from 3:30 to 8 P.M. Rock the evening out from 9 P.M. to 1:30 A.M. with Funzaluv. A $5 cover applies after 3 P.M. “Perfect pints are flowing all weekend and we have entertainment for the whole family,” said Wendy Schreiner, Molly Maguire’s manager. On the 17th, keep your eyes out for Irish dancers, bagpipers and a live leprechaun.
The Blarney Stone1227 West Chester Pike West Chester, PA 610-436-5222
The Blarney Stone is one of the older Irish pubs in Chester County, so you know their holiday celebration will not disappoint.
“We have truly emulated the feel of an authentic Irish pub from the warm atmosphere and the friendly and personable staff to a hearty pub menu, there is not a better place to be than the Blarney Stone; Slainte!” said Steven Schwenk, general manager.
The fun doesn’t stop there. The Blarney will have a heated tent adjacent to the bar to expand their capacity. Why do they need to make sure they have extra room, you ask? They need to accommodate the crowd for the main event, the McDade Irish Step Dancers. The dancers perform at 1pm and 5pm. Make sure you get there early for good seats; you do not want to miss this! For the rest of the day…and night, there will be a DJ on hand helping you dance the night away. Along with all of the entertainment there will be an expanded Irish menu and drink specials.www.ironhillbrewery.com
Many know Iron Hill for their fine beers. Though it isn’t exactly a place most people would think to go on St. Patrick’s Day, perhaps this will change. On March 16th they will have a great Irish beer on tap, the Irish Dry Stout, and Iron Hill West Chester will be tapping their Irish Red Ale just in time for you to enjoy it with your Irish and wanna-be-Irish friends. Coupled with their first-rate beers, Iron Hill will be offering a first-rate Irish dinner on St. Pat’s.
Phoenixville Pub Crawl
Main Street Phoenixville has gathered its restaurants and bars together for a one-day Pub Crawl/Meet the Brewer event, Saturday, March 14th, from 1 to 5 P.M. People can visit the following participating Phoenixville venues to sample beers and meet the brewers:
- Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant — (130 E. Bridge Street.): “HEAVY MEDALS.” Iron Hill will offer all 6 of their 2008 Great American Beer Festival medal winning brews. Come by and taste the beers and meet the brewers who created them. Pay as you go.
- Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery — (519 Kimberton Road ): “Meet the Brewer,” with Sly Fox brew master Brian O’Reilly and Standard Tap owner and former brewer William Reed. The pair will be featuring their collaboration beer, Standard Ale, a 5.6-percent cask-conditioned brew. Pay as you go.
- Columbia Bar & Grille — (148 E. Bridge Street ): “Meet the Brewer,” featuring Lancaster Brewing Company’s, Bill Moore. Pay as you go.
- 101 Bridge — (101 Bridge Street ): “Meet the Brewer,” featuring Stoudt’s Brewing Company. Pay as you go.
- Molly Maguire’s Irish Restaurant — (195 Bridge Street): “Meet the Brewer,” featuring Guiness Brewery and Victory Brewing Company. Pay as you go. Guinness brew master, Fergal Murray from 1 to 3 P.M. Victory Brewing Company’s Bill Covaleski from 3 to 5 P.M.
- Pickering Creek Inn — (37 Bridge Street ): “Meet the Brewer,” with Weyerbacher Brewing Company’s Chris Lampe. Also featuring Southampton Brewery’s Spencer Neibuhr. Pay as you go.
- PJ Ryan’s — (231 Bridge Street ): “Meet the Brewer,” with Flying Fish Brewing Company’s Drew Perry. Troegs Brewing Company will also be featured. Pay as you go.
- Epicurean Restaurant & Bar — (902 Kimberton Road ): “Meet the Brewer,” featuring Yard’s Brewing Company and Dogfish Head Brewery. Pay as you go.