The Best Bars for Celebrating St. Patrick's Day 2016 in Portland

St. Patrick’s Day is almost upon us, a holiday that celebrates Irish culture, Irish food, and, of course, Irish drinks. 2016 has a bunch to offer for the holiday here in Portland, and not only at the Irish bars. Here our some of our picks for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day 2016.  
While there’s nothing wrong with going out and celebrating Irish culture, there’s never an excuse for drunk driving. If you’re drinking, take Tri-Met, a cab, Uber, Lyft, or have a designated driver.
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The other major Portland bar(s), Kell’s is once again celebrating St. Patrick’s Day all weekend, with music, dancing, food, drink, live boxing, televised soccer games, meet and greet with Irish Wolfhounds, and more, at both the downtown bar and the brewery, as well as a festival tent area. Admission varies from day to day and location to location. Saturday is Family Day, with face-painting and dog petting, while the other days skew more adult, with plenty of Irish libations to be had. Get the full schedule and event details here. (112 SW 2nd Ave.; 503-227-4057)
Kell’s isn’t the only establishment with weekend long events; this year, EastBurn is expanding the celebrations to the whole weekend, with live music both Friday and Saturday nights, and an Irish brunch during the day. Last year, the restaurant and bar sold out of Mike’s Famous Corned Beef and Colcannon, so this year the staff is making a lot more. Expect other food and drink specials all weekend. (1800 E Burnside St.; 503-236-2876)
Brix loves the holiday so much, it’s featuring drink specials all month long to celebrate. The Luck of the Irish is made with sherry-cask aged Irish whiskey, lemon, St. Germain, simple syrup, and muddled cucumber, while the Dublin is Bushmills, Lillet Blanc, orange liqueur, and orange bitters. There is also an Irish Toddy and an Irish Buck (with whiskey, ginger beer, and lime), both made with Bushmills. Cocktails are $9 all month. On the actual day, grab some Irish Car Bombs for $5 or Irish Coffee for only $3. There will also be corned beef & hash and some live music. (1338 NW Hoyt St.; 503-943-5995)
Swine Bar at Swank & Swine is crafting up some special St. Patrick’s Day cocktails for those looking for something a little different and a little less rowdy. The Drum is a traditional egg-white sour but with Jameson Irish Whiskey and a huckleberry cordial; The Kiltless is a darker, richer drink with Michael Collins Irish Whiskey, Fernet, lemon, bitters, and Licor 43, a citrusy herbal liqueur; and The Brotherhood is made with Irish Whiskey, orange liqueur, lemon, and Benedictine. You can also grab anIrish Coffee or an Irish Buck. All St. Patrick’s Day cocktails will be $8, and the bar will be serving corned beef and hash for the day. (808 SW Taylor St.; 503-943-5844) 

One of Portland’s favorite Irish bars, Paddy’s is hosting the 7th annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival. The event lasts all day, inside the bar and in a tent outside, from 10 AM–10 PM, after which the party will no doubt continue in the bar. Minors are welcome until 9:30 PM. The event features bagpipers, Irish Dancers (pictured above), singers, and is headlined by the band The Chancers, playing traditional Irish music from 8–10 PM. Paddy’s anticipates over 500 lb of corned beef and cabbage along with other Irish cuisine, and over 100 kegs of Guinness and over 50 gallons of Irish coffee will be served. A portion of the proceeds will be donated directly to the Children’s Cancer Association(66 SW Yamhill St.; 503-224-5626)
It’s looking like downtown will be packed on St. Patrick’s Day, as yet another venerated Portland establishment is hosting a party. Jake’s Crawfish, one our of oldest restaurants, will be blocking off SW 12th between Burnside and Stark for its St. Paddy’s party and concert, with bands playing from noon to 9:30 PM. Guinness, Jake’s Famous Irish Coffee, Irish stew, corned beef sandwiches, and more will be served all day. While the concert is outside, a roaming bagpipe band will entertain diners in the restaurant, who can order corned beef and cabbage, bangers and mash, and other Irish dishes. Tickets for the party will be $10, available at the door. Reservations for the restaurant are available by phone. (401 SW 12th Ave.; 503-226-1419)
The downtown mega bar is getting into the St. Patrick’s Day theme as well, with a special menu for the day featuring Bangers and Kohlrabi Mash, Guinness and Smoked Cheddar Dip, Chocolate pot de Creme, and more. Of course, it wouldn’t be St. Paddy’s at PBS without a speciality punch bowl: This year features the Wearing of the Green, a mix of Irish Whiskey, New Amsterdam Orange, kiwi syrup, lime juice, and green tea. (340 SW Morrison St.; 503-334-0360)
We recently reviewed Muselet’s excellent food, wine, and cocktail menu. While the place is more French or New American than it is Irish, it’s also focused on accessible comfort food, which fits the holiday just perfectly. For a classier, quieter night out, check out Muselet’s St. Paddy’s day menu, including a Corned Beef, Irish Soda Bread with Sheep's Butter dish, and some speciality Irish cocktails. (3730 SW Bond Ave.; 503-265-8133)
Photos by Brady Kennedy


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