The biggest St. Patrick’s Day celebration west of the Mississippi is San Francisco’s 160th parade and Irish festival this Saturday. The festival, spreading out from Civic Center Plaza, is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The parade begins at ll:30 a.m. at the corner of Second and Market and proceeds to City Hall. If being part of a crowd of 100,000 “Irishmen” all wearing green is not your cup of tea—or pint of Guinness—the Irish closer to home will also be celebrating.
How to celebrate? Like turkey on Thanksgiving, whether you like it or not, you’ve got to have corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day. Washed down, perhaps, with a pint of ale.
Around Santa Clara on the 17th, plenty of pubs and restaurants are serving corned beef and cabbage (an Irish-American dish, not one that crossed the Atlantic from Ireland).
As well as food and drinks, the pubs listed below will have entertainment—Celtic bands and dancers. At Lilly Mac’s Restaurant and Irish Pub, the celebration of Ireland’s patron saint and everything Irish starts Saturday.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! And, as the Irish say, “May your home always be too small to hold all your friends.”
Pubs with Entertainment
- Duke of Edinburgh Pub and Restaurant, www.theduke.com, (408) 446-3853, 10801 N. Wolfe Road near Homestead, Cupertino; seasoned pub (established in 1983) popular with British ex-pats. Food from 11:30 a.m.; Irish dancers, 6:30 p.m.
- Lilly Mac’s Restaurant and Irish Pub, www.lillymacs.com, (408) 732-0200, 187 S. Murphy Avenue, Sunnyvale. March 12: Food all day with Irish music & dancers from 6 p.m. March 17: More Irish food, dancers and bands. Owned and run by people who are always Irish—not just for the day.
- Rosie McCann’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, www.rosiemccanns.com, (408) 247-1706, 355 Santana Row # 1060, San Jose. Pub grub & other food starting at 9 a.m. Pipers & drummers, 5 – 7 p.m.; The Mofo’s (rock & Irish music), 7 – 9 p.m.; DJ, 9 p.m. to closing at 1 a.m. $20 cover from 8:30 p.m.
Restaurants & Bars
- American Legion Post 419, (408) 244-3050, 958 Homestead Road at Lafayette, Santa Clara; St. Patrick’s Day party March 12. Dinner 5:30 to 7 p.m.; DJ music & dancing from 7 p.m. Space is limited so get your ticket ahead of time or take your chances, $20.
- Bennigan’s Restaurant, www.bennigans.com, (408) 748-0378, 4150 Great America Parkway at Mission College Blvd., Santa Clara. Corned beef and cabbage from 11 a.m., $10.99. DJ music beginning between 8 to 9 p.m. and games (beer pong).
- Birk’s Restaurant, established 12 years ago in 1989, www.Birksrestaurant.com, (408) 980-6400), 3955 Freedom Circle, Santa Clara.
- Blinky’s Can’t Say Cocktail Lounge and Bar, www.blinkyscantsay.com, (408) 985-7201, 1031 Monroe Street in Franklin Square, Santa Clara. It’s a “fun, little neighborhood bar” serving its free and “famous corned beef and cabbage” from about 4:30 until it runs out or the bar closes.
- C & J’s Sports Bar, www.candjsportsbar.com, (408) 423-9013, 1550 Lafayette Street at El Camino, Santa Clara. Eat corned beef for free after 3 p.m.— as long as it lasts. Drink Guinness for $3.50 and enjoy karaoke at 10 p.m.
- Mariani’s Inn and Restaurant, www.marianis.com, 408/243-1431, 2500 El Camino Real between Kiely and San Tomas Expressway, in Santa Clara since 1953. Irish drink specials and corned beef and cabbage with all the trimmings; lunch, $12.95; dinner, $14.95. Irish karaoke, 8 p.m. to midnight.
- Sara’s Kitchen, www.saraskitchen.biz; (408) 247-7272, 1597 Franklin Street at Winchester, Santa Clara. Irish lunch until 2:30 p.m. or dinner 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., $10.95.