It’s the oldest St. Patrick’s Day parade this side of the Mississippi. At least, that’s what the interwebs say. But I tend to believe the webs when it comes to facts that don’t attempt to implicate government officials of wrongdoing. Besides, for those who have either been to a Chicago or New York version and have yet to experience the Denver Runnin’ of the Green, do not prepare to be underwhelmed: this parade is legit.
Yes, there will be a ton of hammered people with stupid hats and shamrocks covering various body parts, many of them non-Gaelic (kind of like how the number of people who “went” to Notre Dame triples when the football team is doing well). But who cares?? Everyone should become Irish on March 17. Because it’s fun! And what truly makes Denver’s parade special is that the City of Denver has nothing to do with putting it on; it’s a volunteer group! Yes, community activism does work. Read about the history at the official parade site.
Of course, you’ll want something to do after the parade, if you can still stand. So, for the stout of mind and body (see what I did there?), here is a list of Irish bars in Denver, at least those who are Irish-themed the other 364 days:
Nallen’s has been around since 1992, making it the oldest Irish pub in Denver, and not needing of a Web site (a plus). Like most of the other bars on this list, Nallen’s will likely be pitching a big white tent in advance of the crowds; don’t feel like you have to be in brick-and-mortar portion of Nallen’s to enjoy the day. You can come back another time to appreciate the architecture.
Nallen’s might be Denver’s oldest Irish pub, but Clancy’s is the longest-standing. You figure what means what. Clancy’s other big selling point on St. Patrick’s Day is that it isn’t downtown, so the general riotous ambience of the day will be contained to Clancy’s property and not the entirety of LoDo. Note: Clancy’s is in Wheat Ridge, but because of its aforementioned title, it makes the list. Holla, Ned Kelly’s!
Celtic on Market is the new name to go with the new location at the corner of Market and 14th. You can still bet the ponies while drinking pints in the OTB, but the “cigar bar” annex was buried with the Delaney’s annex in 2016.
Stumbling distance from Washington Park, it’s a place for neighbors to gather and celebrate, rather than zone out on TV. Finley’s also serves one of the best burgers in town.
If you’re looking for a more casual, authentic St. Patrick’s Day experience, Finley’s Pub fits the bill. Fun exercise: Google the walking directions from Finley’s to Candlelight. Much respect to the bar whose most efficient form of egress is through the alley.
The Abbey Tavern doesn’t decorate in Irish motif: no shamrocks nor leprechauns anywhere in view. But look at the menu and you know. The kitchen serves up classics like Shepherd’s pie, corned beef Reuben, and Guinness beef stew. Plus, the Abbey Tavern brings back the cozy authentic flair for those who are wanting to enjoy a more traditional holiday celebration. And, it’s also out of the LoDo sphere.
Broadway needed an Irish bar and hence, we have the Rover. And fortunately, it comes with the feature that almost foretells a drinking establishment’s success rate: a rooftop deck. If St. Patty’s Day 2018 weather is like recent March 17ths, get your sunburn on here.
A snug is not a cheesy sleeping bag for your living room. It is however, a very private room that can allow you to drink privately in public. The Irish Snug allows you to do that, until you decide to stand atop the snug and do something that will force people to figure out how to avoid making eye contact with you. The Snug, however, does have a sidewalk patio that is an amazing place to drink – regardless of holiday – when the sun is out.
Two words: dark wood. One word: great whiskey. That’s also two words, but you get the idea. Because of its ballpark location, this place will be a Craic show on March 17, but get there early and enjoy the sightseeing from within the friendly confines.
It’s like the Wu-Tang, Dougherty’s ain’t nothin’ to f with… too cultural? How about the Scarface of bars? It’s 4-stars or no stars, depending on who you ask. It does have strong drinks, decent food and did I mention strong drinks? Ok, so keeping with the Irish theme, it’s like Notre Dame football, you either love it or you hate it. That being said, St. Patrick’s Day might be the absolute best time to experience Dougherty’s for yourself.
Now get out there and please drink responsibly. And, no matter where you go, one last piece of advice: only use “Pog Mo Thoin” if you know exactly what it means, who you’re saying it to or you’re cool with a brawl. Enjoy!