successful St. Patrick’s Day must include the following: traditional Irish food, special entertainment and a whole lot of green beer. Luckily for Gainesville, the citywide celebration has something in every corner of town. Here’s a quick guide for your night out.
If you’re hanging in Midtown…
The Swamp Restaurant will host its 20th annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration with planned Irish food, specials on food and drinks and events throughout the holiday.
“We’ve been doing it now for 20 years, since 1994,” said Ryan Prodesky, the restaurant’s manager. “We always try to have one of the best parties and biggest events on St. Patty’s Day.”
The restaurant will be cooking up corned beef and cabbage, a traditional Irish meal. The bar will also serve free beer from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., along with other drink specials.
“We’ll have all kinds of St. Patty’s day events happening throughout the day at the restaurant, so it’s going to be a fun and festive atmosphere,” Prodesky said. “The beer will absolutely be green.”
If you’re going downtown…
First Magnitude Brewing Company will be celebrating the holiday with specialty beers and live entertainment, said Lane Abraben, the brewery’s event coordinator.
The brewery, located at 1220 SE Veitch St., will host the event from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with live music from The Dozenaires, who will be playing traditional Irish jig and folk music.
The “Off the Griddle” food truck will be parked outside serving traditional Irish fare along with its regular menu, Abraben said.
The brewery will be debuting two special release beers on draft for the occasion, an Irish Red Ale and its “Time Out” Irish Stout.
“We’ll be doing a beer in what’s called a firkin, which is basically an old-school keg that doesn’t run off of CO2,” Abraben said. “It’s a gravity-driven keg. Usually they’re served a little warmer and are less carbonated.”
Along with debut beers and entertainment, the brewery will be hosting a St. Patrick’s Day costume contest. The winner of the contest will receive a free 32-ounce growler of either special-release Irish beer.
As far as green beer goes, First Magnitude will not be participating, Abraben said.
“We might make some green dye available, but we won’t be dying any of our beers,” he said. “We’re kind of purists, so we’ll leave the dying up to the people.”
If you’re looking for something in between...
Mother’s Pub and Grill, an Irish restaurant situated on University Avenue, is debuting an entire St. Patrick’s Day menu for the public. The menu is a mix of traditional and non-traditional Irish food. The menu, which includes drink specials like $3 green beer and $6 Irish Car Bombs, can be viewed at motherspub.com.
If you’re staying in for midterms...
(We feel your pain — here’s something to do on the weekend!)On Saturday, High Dive will host its third-annual St. Paddy’s Day weekend Food Truck Rally. The food truck rally is free to the public and begins at 5 p.m. It will have more than 12 local and regional food vendors serving St. Patty’s themed food.
“We have traditional Irish music and drinking songs from St. Augustine’s Jig to a Milestone,”said Pat Lavery, the owner of Glory Days Presents.
- Lauren Fernandez