Make us your home page
Instagram

Dining Planner: Restaurants and bars to celebrate St. Patrick's this year

Easy being green: Celebration spots

You know what Tampa's Mayor's River O'Green Fest reminds you? Looking out Saturday over that Hillsborough River turned a lively shade of emerald you think, "Darn, I'm thirsty. Where does a person grab a Guinness around here?" • After the family-friendly activities in Curtis Hixon Park, it's grown-up time. Here are spots to raise a pint this weekend, or all year long.

O'Keefe's Tavern and Restaurant (1219 S Fort Harrison Ave., Clearwater, (727) 442-9034) is the restaurant/bar for St. Patrick's Day, a good-times, pint-or-three shambling Irish pub the rest of the year. This place has history, going back to the 1960s when it was O'Keefe's Tap Room, a history still visible despite the many additions and remodelings. A brick exterior gives way to a comfortable series of rooms festooned with lots of green accents and Irishobilia. The brogue-required bartenders are fast and furious with the beers and the all-ages crowd is unified by affection for the place. Once known for its "seven-course Irish dinner" (that's six beers and a potato), O'Keefe's fare has branched out to include such Dublin-incorrect favorites as lobster rolls and hefty burgers (regulars swear by the one topped with peanut butter and bacon, no lie). On Friday, the party tent opens at noon, $5 cover for adults after 3 p.m., with live bands, bagpipers and Irish dancing shows.

A creamy smooth Guinness and a few choruses of Danny Boy at MacDinton's Irish Pub & Restaurant (405 S Howard Ave., Tampa, (813) 251-8999; and 242 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg, (727) 201-9783) and you'll be pining for old County Cork even if you're not Irish. Bagpipers, stomping Irish dancers, drink specials and an all-day party make this lively Irish bar a mecca on St. Paddy's Day (the Tampa location has been swamped since its debut in 2002). There's a killer black and tan, a warming Irish coffee and a fair representation of Irish staples, from rib-sticking, mashed-potatoey shepherd's pie sliders to respectable bangers and mash, all served in the clubby, dark-wood bar.

If your passion for Ireland remains unslaked, Four Green Fields (205 W Platt St., Tampa, (813) 254-4444) offers lots of St. Paddy's revelry — on Friday doors open at 8 a.m. and live music starts at 11 a.m. The oldest Irish pub of South Tampa's big three and the most well-known in Tampa Bay, Four Green Fields proudly advertises itself as "America's only authentic thatched roof pub." There are also two wooden decks and a bar in the rear outside area. Irish greats such as Tommy Makem, the Prodigals, the Corrs and Sinéad O'Connor have all played Four Green Fields, which has traditional Irish musicians perform every weekend. Perhaps the most Irish thing about Four Green Fields? Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has bellied up to the bar, and most staff members are from Ireland.

Dubliner Irish Pub (2307 W Azeele St., Tampa, (813) 258-2257) is a smaller, quainter place to toast the patron saint of Ireland. This pub offers food and drink specials all day at the epicenter of Irish zeal on Azeele. Laid-back and charming, the Dubliner has been a SoHo favorite since 2002, not far from its sworn enemy, MacDinton's. A converted house decorated with beautiful Emerald Isle bric-a-brac, the Dubliner has a handsome deck and a total of four full bars including a tiki.

Get historical: On the menu

On Friday, the Henry Plant Museum debuts a new exhibit called Menus: An Epicurean Experience, which runs through Dec. 23. Using original menus as a starting point to explore fine dining at the Tampa Bay Hotel from 1891 to 1932, these rarely exhibited menus draw visitors into the conversation of Victorian food, the source of food, its preparation, etiquette, fashion and utensils that blend together to create the Victorian epicurean experience. The exhibit displays original artifacts, including menus, photos, clothing, and utensils from the Tampa Bay Hotel, other Florida hotels and private collections. At 7 p.m. Friday there will be a free lecture by Patrick Dunne, proprietor of Lucullus antiques in New Orleans and author of The Epicurean Collector. Entrance to the exhibit is included with admission to the museum; $10 adults. 401 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. (813) 254-1891.

Dining Planner: Restaurants and bars to celebrate St. Patrick's this year 03/15/17 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 10:59am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Cridlin: Linkin Park's Chester Bennington had a wail that stood apart

    Music & Concerts

    For all the old-timers' talk about how they don't make singers like they used to, about how rock vocalists of the 21st century can't hold a candle to the frontmen of yesteryear, here's a fact no hater could deny:

    Chester Bennington could flat-out wail.

    Chester Bennington of Linkin Park  performs at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa for the 2014 Carnivores Tour. [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  2. Ready to go it alone? Tips for easing into solo travel

    Travel

    Since 2012, Kristin Addis has been traveling the world. More often than not, she's solo.

    Travel author Kristin Addis takes soloness to another level at Dead Horse State Park in Utah. Before you book an international trip, try starting small to test the waters.
  3. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for July 21

    Events

    Taking Back Sunday: The emo heroes will be joined by Every Time I Die and Modern Chemistry. 6:30 p.m., Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $26.50. (727) 565-0550. Afterward, guitarist and co-lead vocalist John Nolan performs a DJ set at 10 p.m., The Bends, 919 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Free.

    Taking Back Sunday, performing in St. Petersburg this weekend. Credit: Reybee, Inc.
  4. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 16: An evening of wine and song transcends all language barriers for these travelers

    Travel

    Day 16: Castrojeriz to Villarmentero de Campos: 35 km, 10.5 hours. Total for Days 1-16 = 360 km (224 miles)

  5. Artist exchange creates Tampa-Havana friendships

    Visual Arts

    SEMINOLE HEIGHTS — Bad weather rocked the Southwest Airlines flight from Havana to Tampa.

    Marian Valdes of Havana, Cuba, who is a resident artist through the Tempus Projects artist exchange program, stands for a portrait at the non-profit art space in Tampa, Fla., on Monday, July 17, 2017. Valdes has an upcoming exhibit titled “Addicted Involution.”