Channel your inner Irish
The Chicago River will be dyed green starting at 10 a.m. Mach 16. The best viewing spots are between Columbus and Wabash.
Updated: March 13, 2013 7:56AM
Every year, restaurateur Billy Lawless Jr. still gets a good Irish chuckle out of St. Patrick’s Day revelers in Chicago.
“I came here from Ireland in June of 1998, and it was amazing to see how the holiday was such a big deal over here,” chuckles Lawless, the owner of The Gage, who readily admits to an insatiable craving for his restaurant’s braised lamb Shepherd’s Pie these days. “Every single person takes it as their own holiday. It’s a great sense of community the whole weekend through.”
Indeed, Chicago takes St. Patrick’s Day very seriously, from the dyeing of the river green to the annual parade on Columbus Drive. So whether you are 100 percent Irish or are just looking for an excuse to scarf down a corned beef sandwich and drink green beer, Chicago is sure to have just what you are looking for.
AN IRISH BLESSING
Chances are you may be praying for forgiveness sometime before the weekend through, so why not start out on the right foot. Old St. Patrick’s Church will host its annual St. Patrick’s Day Civic Celebration on March 16. Morning mass will feature performances of many, including the Sheila Tully Irish Stepdancers and the Shannon Rovers Irish Pipe Band. Next, be a blessing to others at the St. Patrick’s Day Misericordia Fundraiser & Post Parade Celebration at Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House in the afternoon, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefitting the children and adults of Misericordia Home.
Old St. Patrick’s Church, 700 W. Adams, Chicago, (312) 648-1021; www.oldstpats.org
Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House, 1024 N. Rush, Chicago, (312) 640-0999; www.hugosfrogbar.com
AN IRISH COCKTAIL
Try as you might, but staying completely sober throughout St. Patrick’s Day weekend is going to be tough. So if you are going to drink, keep it classy with some classy cocktails. Located within Trump Chicago, Rebar is featuring two signature cocktails: the Shamrockatini, crafted with Jameson Irish Whiskey, Godiva White, and Creme de Menthe, and the Leprechaun Elixir, a classic Irish coffee with a kick. BRASSERIA by LM will also have their share of themed drinks such as like The Creamy Shamrock (Baileys, vodka and Creme de Menthe Dark) The Irish Ginger (Jameson and Ginger Ale) and The Nutty Irishman (Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur and Bailey’s Irish Cream).
Rebar, 401 N. Wabash, Chicago (312) 588-8034; www.trumphotelcollection.com/chicago
BRASSERIE by LM, 800 S. Michigan, Chicago, (312) 431-1788, www.BrasseriebyLM.com
AN IRISH DATE WITH A VIEW
Looking for the best seat in the house to witness St. Patrick’s Day from afar? The Cityscape Bar, on the 15th floor of the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza, offers an excellent view of the Chicago River turning green on March 16th while offering complimentary appetizers such as mini corned beef sandwiches, Guinness BBQ wings and vegetable crudite. Or, take to the lake on board the Spirit of Chicago, whose St. Patrick’s Day on the Water festivities on March 17, will include a dinner, dancing and of course, a great view of city.
Cityscape Bar at Holiday Inn Mart Plaza, 350 W. Mart Center Drive, 15th Floor, Chicago, www.cityscapebar.com
Spirit of Chicago Cruises, (866) 273-2469; www.spiritofchicago.com
AN IRISH PERFORMANCE
Who doesn’t love a bagpiper… especially on St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Luckily for Chicagoans, the talents of these amazing skirt wearing players will be on display all over town. One of their many stops will include one at the new Gold Coast eatery The Local Chicago, as the Irish Rover Bagpipers will make a special appearance the afternoon of March 17. Love the accordion? City Winery will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the Sharon Shannon Band on March 17. A multi-platinum accordionist direct from Ireland, Shannon can not only jam on Irish traditional music, but watch what she can do with hip-hop and Cajun music, too!
The Local Chicago, 198 E. Delaware, Chicago, (312) 280-8887; www.thelocalchicago.com
City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph, Chicago, (312) 733-9463; www.citywinery.com/chicago
AN IRISH HANGOVER REMEDY
When your head is spinning and your friend throws your car keys in the river, it’s either time to go home or time to head to the Revive Hydration Clinic. Cure what ails you within their special St. Patrick’s Day Recovery package, being offered throughout the St. Patrick’s Day weekend. For a base package price of $99 a person, patients will receive expedited hydration therapy through IV delivery of fluids, nutrition and medication.
Revive Hydration Clinic, 222 W. Ontario, Suite 450, Chicago, (312) 350-1822, www.revivechicago.com