St. Patrick's Day gives pubs and bars a good excuse to be even more colorful than usual. From holiday-themed food to bagpipe music to a limerick contest, many watering holes in Santa Monica will be sham-rockin' throughout the day and night.
Here's our list of the top drinking destinations for St. Patrick's Day:
• O'Brien's Irish Pub & Restaurant (at 2941 Main St.): This pub gets the prize for opening first, at least by our estimation: The holiday celebration started here at the top o' the mornin', 6 a.m. A traditional Irish breakfast is being served till noon, while four bands—one featuring Vivian Campbell of Def Leppard—will be performing throughout the day. If you need further convincing about O'Brien's, check out SM Patch columnist Robbie Pickard's to the place.
• (at 2226 Wilshire Blvd.): Not to be confused with the above, this pub will open at 8 a.m. and won't close its doors till 2 a.m. Irish-music performances are slated for throughout the day, but one of the bartenders told Santa Monica Patch that it's the unplanned events that will be the most fun. "Every year, something spontaneous happens," the bartender said.
• : The Boston-themed bar is boasting that its St. Paddy's Day celebration will "once again ... be the biggest party on the Westside." On the bill are multiple bands; a beer garden; a holiday-themed menu; and a limerick contest, which will find the winner getting a $50 gift certificate.
• : This bar, which specializes in beer and scotch, will be open a couple of hours earlier than usual, at noon (and stay open till 2 a.m.). Highlights include drink specials and Irish karaoke, as well as holiday-themed food—corned beef sandwiches, and corn beef and cabbage—which will be served after 4 p.m.
• : The Broadway bar will open and close at the same times as the Pint, but before 5 p.m., Guinness, Harp and Jameson will be served at the discounted price of $5. Corned beef hash and other select Irish plates will be served start at noon, with the full menu available beginning at 5 p.m. March Madness games will be on the tellys, but the biggest feature of all may be The Yard's "A Different Shade of Green" cocktail, which has been featured on The Huffington Post.
• : A bagpiper will swing by this place three times over the course of the day, with a DJ handling music duties at night. Cabbage, horseradish and other traditional Irish food is on the menu. One of the bartenders told Santa Monica Patch that it's going to be very crowded. (For more on Ye Olde King's Head, read from Robbie Pickard.)
• : The pool tables are being moved to accommodate what should be a raucous celebration. Traditional Irish dishes will be served; female reps from Guinness and Heineken will be stopping by; and Irish beverages (Guinness, Smithwick's, etc.) will be plentiful. Note: There's a $5 cover after 5 p.m.
• : Patrons can head here as early as 9 a.m., although they might want to be present (and conscious) at 1 and 7 p.m., when a band performs.