Irish bars anticipate annual spike in business for St. Pat’sWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
They may not anticipate a pot of gold, but several owners and managers of local Irish pubs do expect a spike in business for St. Patrick’s Day.
Andy Katafiasz, owner of OB’s Tavern on Tremainsville Road in West Toledo, said St. Patrick’s Day accounts for between 11 percent and 14 percent of the bar’s annual revenue.
“One day out of the year, [OB’s] transforms itself into the biggest party in town. … ‘Everybody has to stop by OB’s,’ is what everybody tells me,” Katafiasz said of the 800-square-foot tavern, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
Many firefighters, including one who plays the bagpipe, regularly come to OB’s, he added.
“It’s awesome to hear the bagpipes in that little place,” Katafiasz said.
Green beer, drink specials, koozie favors and a special Jiggs dinner are also planned.
Bill Kline, general manager of The Blarney Irish Pub in Downtown Toledo, said even if the weather isn’t great, he expects a crowd at the establishment’s annual party.
“I don’t think the weather’s going to deter folks. Everybody has cabin fever,” he said.
However, weather does have some impact on St. Patrick’s festivities. Last year’s two-day St. Patrick’s Day events at The Blarney drew in more than 7,000 patrons, Kline estimated. However, he recalled the particularly warm St. Patrick’s Day in 2012, where 7,000 came on one day alone.
The pub is hosting Shamrockin’ The Blarney 2014 St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, a four-day celebration starting at 9 p.m. March 14. The festivities include a heated tent on Huron Street on March 15 and 17. A portion of the party proceeds go to Local 92 Firefighters Charities and Project iAm, a local charity that raises money for children who have autism.
The Blarney is also offering an Irish brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 16 and an Irish breakfast starting at 7 a.m. March 17. For more details about cab and hotel packages related to Shamrockin’, visit www.theblarneyirishpub.com.
St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Monday may also impact business, said Jeff Lark, owner of Shawn’s Irish Tavern locations in Waterville and Sylvania.
“Sometimes, the best day [for St. Patrick’s Day to fall] is Wednesday or Thursday,” Lark said. “Typically, people are anxious to get out a bit earlier because it’s getting toward the end of the week.”
Lark said he anticipates bigger crowds during the weekend leading up to St. Patrick’s Day.
In addition to green beer, Shawn’s will offer drink specials, entertainment and favors. An $8 Jiggs dinner is available from the afternoon of March 16 through 17. To learn more, visit www.shawnsirishtavern.com. A third Shawn’s Tavern is located at 4400 Heatherdowns Blvd.
Mulvaney’s Bunker Irish Pub & Grub, re-opened on Dorr Street, opened in August so this year will be its first St. Patrick’s Day under new ownership.
“We will end up doing easily three times the amount of business we would originally do,” predicted general manager Matt Killam. He said although the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is typically viewed as bars’ busiest days, St. Patrick’s Day is the focal point for Irish pubs.
He’s not too worried about the weather, either.
“Even if it’s 35 degrees, it will feel tropical to most people,” he said, adding there will be heaters on the patio. In addition to drink specials, there is also a DJ lineup, a Jiggs dinner and starting at 5:30 a.m. March 17, a kegs and eggs breakfast. To learn more, visit www.mulvaneysbunkertoledo.com.
Tags: Andy Katafiasz, Irish pubs, Jeff Lark, Local 92 Firefighters Charities, Mulvaney’s Bunker Irish Pub & Grub, owner of OB’s Tavern, owner of Shawn’s Irish Tavern, Project iAm, Shamrockin’ The Blarney 2014 St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, St. Patrick's Day, The Blarney Irish Pub in Downtown Toledo