It’s easy being green at St. Patrick’s Day.
From a day-long block party and performances by the Dropkick Murphys at the Tsongas Center, to bangers and mash for Irish breakfast at Garcia Brogan’s Pub & Cantina, to the perfect Guinness, bagpipes and stepdancing at the Old Court, to an outdoor tent with live music at Majors Pub…Whew!
March 17 is going to be one hell of a day to remember in Lowell!
Garcia Brogan’s kicks the day’s festivities off at 8 a.m., when the 131 Middlesex St. restaurant opens its doors for an old-fashioned Irish breakfast that includes two eggs, bangers (Irish sausage) home fries, bakes beans, grilled tomatoes and Irish soda bread. A breakfast burrito stuffed with scrambled eggs, fresh salsa, black beans and cheddar cheese in a grilled flour tortilla is also on the menu.
After 11 a.m., the menu shifts to Irish lunch with classic corned beef, fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, a hearty Guinness beef stew and more.
Garcia Brogan’s chef, Jason Viteri, started cooking his 400 pounds of corned beef from the Lowell Provision Butcher Shop on Tuesday.
“We’re expecting a full house,” he says. “Our capacity is nearly 200, and we’ve got enough food to feed an Army.”
Lowell’s Irish-Mexican restaurant, owned by Ronnie Brogan and Ervy Garcia is 3,200 feet divided into two parts – and Irish themed bar on one side and a Mexican motif on the other. But come Saturday, says restaurant manager Javier Bauer, the whole space turns Irish for the day.
“Then it will be all about the Guinness and Jameson,” he says, adding that the day-long event will include a line-up of entertainment the whole family can enjoy, from traditional Irish music to the talents of young Irish stepdancers courtesy of Guinness. After 9 p.m., the Whiskey Tango band will help revelers rock the night away.
Video by Caroline Gallagher
At the Old Court Pub on 29 Central St. – where the bar’s owners actually hail from Ireland – the kitchen staff started prepping last week. The food at this authentic Irish bar is award winning, especially the fish and chips, but talk to co-owner Finbarr Sheehan and he’ll tell you it’s all about the Guinness.
This bar takes its King of Beers seriously – and we don’t mean Budweiser. Or green beer. In fact, you will not find green beer at The Old Court. Ever.
“I have no idea where that came from,” Sheehan says, wincing just a little.
The man, who admittedly only drinks Guinness, says there are few places where he’ll drink the dark brew. Outside the Old Court, Sheehan says his favorite place to get Guinness is Mr. Dooley’s Irish Pub on Broad Street in Boston.
But on Saturday, he’ll be serving up his own perfectly poured concoctions against a backdrop of bag pipes, Irish stepdancing and traditional music throughout the day.
The biggest draw this year just might by two performances by the Dropkick Murphys. The Celtic punk rockers chose Lowell as their St. Patty’s Day venue, playing shows at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the UMass Lowell Tsongas Center. The Dropkicks re-released their 2011 Going Out in Style album on Tuesday, March 13, featuring a Fenway Park Bonus Edition with a download of September’s filmed concert at Fenway, where the band played in front of 20,000 fans over two back-to-back sold out shows.
The Tsongas is also throwing a block party on the lawn behind the building Saturday, chock full of music, giveaways, food and drink.
Make sure to stick some shamrocks in your hair, pull on some green duds and check out the long list of offerings at several of Lowell’s pubs and taverns, where corned beef and Irish music will be served up all day long and into the night!
GET YOUR IRISH ON:
Garcia Brogan’s Cantina & Pub, 131 Middlesex St.
Old Court, 29 Central St.
Cobblestones, 91 Dutton St.
Majors Pub, 34 Jackson St.
Old Worthen, 141 Worthen St.
Cappy’s Copper Kettle, 245 Central St.
Gaelic Club, 255 Chelmsford St.
Hookslide Kelly’s Sports Bar & Grill, 19 Merrimack St.