Dublin Pub and Flanagan’s Pub Carry On Tradition
By Maha Kashani
“Kiss me, I’m Irish!” Ok fine, I’m actually Persian, but on March 17th thousands will join me in forgetting our true heritage and adopt a faux Irish ancestry to pay homage to Saint Patrick.
Of all the holidays that we observe, St. Patrick’s Day might be one of the most unusual. Think about it, we’re celebrating the patron saint of Ireland who we don’t really know much about. Stranger still, a tradition has been formed to wear green while indulging in vast quantities of traditional Irish beverages to honor this mystifying Saint. Then, somewhere along the line, someone decided that the appropriate punishment for those not wearing green should be delivered in the form of pinches.
When you put it all together, it’s a bizarre holiday tradition. Which is probably why Americans have embraced it since the beginning. Actually, since before the beginning. The first St. Patrick’s Day celebrations held on American soil predate the Declaration of Independence!
Although only 11% of Americans are Irish, when St. Patrick’s Day rolls around that number seems to shoot up. With as much fun as this holiday holds, who can blame us for wishing our last names began with an “O”?
Luckily, you don’t need to travel all the way to the Emerald Isle to get your kicks. If you’re ready to experience that famous “luck of the Irish,” then downtown Dayton’s double-header is your pot o’ gold.
Every year, Dublin Pub in the historic Oregon District and Flanagan’s Pub near the University of Dayton collaborate to create Ohio’s largest St. Patrick’s Day experience, featuring some of the best entertainment in town. You won’t find green beer in Ireland, so don’t expect to see any between these two establishments. What you can expect with this year’s holiday landing on a Saturday is an estimated 20,000 green-clad revelers between these two venues, solidifying Dayton as the ultimate St. Patrick’s Day destination.
Dublin Pub, who holds the record as Ohio’s #1 Irish Whiskey pourer, hosts a two day long celebration. The three tents will be set up on Friday, so what better excuse to begin one’s festivities a day early? The party starts at noon and leads to their headlining concert that evening, The Prodigals. Cleveland House of Blues’ St Patrick’s Day headliner is making a special trip down to help Dub Pub commence their celebrations. On Saturday they will shut down Wayne Ave and open their doors at 5a.m. to kick-off a 100% authentic Irish affair. All day long, you will find perfect pints of Guinness, Harp and Smithwick’s, Jamison Irish Whiskey flowing freely, and traditional Irish bands, dancers and musicians buzzing all day long. The kitchen opens at 5:30a.m., so my personal recommendation is to place an order of their award winning Pub Fries to ensure you can last into the evening!
Flanagan’s Pub once again teams up with George Killian’s Irish Red and WTUE to present their famous St. PatROCKS Party, making this year their 36th year of paying homage to Saint Patrick, with doors opening at 9a.m. Inside this huge tent, you will find several vendor booths selling the most eye-catching St. Patrick’s Day flair available, a live radio remote, pints of Irish beer served at the perfect temperature as well as wine, liquor and pub food, all at great prices in a casual festival style atmosphere.
Each venue will feature a large stage with exclusive entertainment options, including headliners like The Menus, one of Ohio’s most sought-out cover bands, and Homeland, a “first of its kind” Celtic-infused rock band, blowing the tops off their tents.
Although these parties technically operate independently of each other, they come together by offering a free shuttle service running every 20 minutes from 10a.m. until midnight, encouraging partygoers to visit both venues and ensuring they have the ultimate St. Patrick’s Day experience.
“Dublin Pub and Flanagan’s Pub spill more beer than the others sell. We are the party!!” said Flanagan’s Pub owner Pat Flanagan. “There is a great synergy between the two places,” added Dublin Pub owner Steve Tieber, who refers to his counterpart Flanagan as Dayton’s “Godfather of St. Patrick’s Day.”
Combined, they project clearing as many as 400 barrels of beer and over 200 bottles of whiskey, securing Dayton as Ohio’s #1 seller of Guinness and Jamison Irish Whiskey on St. Patrick’s Day. “The goal is for Dayton to be a tourist destination for St. Patrick’s Day,” said Tieber. If these two establishments can pull in their estimated 20,000 partygoers to the city, I think we can all say “Mission Accomplished.”
If you are going to be Irish, even for this one day, then make Dayton your destination. That said, safety should always come first. Do not drink and drive! A special rate of $94 a night has been negotiated for March 16th and 17th at The Crowne Plaza hotel in downtown Dayton, with complimentary transportation to and from the The Dublin Pub. Call 937-224-0800 to book your room.
Dublin Pub is located at 300 Wayne Ave. Admission is $10 for a 2 Day Pass. No cover charge Friday until 6p.m. www.DubPub.com and Flanagan’s Pub is located at 101 E. Stewart Street. Admission is $10, pay an extra $5 for an all day “In/Out” pass. www.flanaganspubdayton.com.
Reach DCP freelance writer Maha Kashani at MissMaha@daytoncitypaper.com