Best bets for St. Patrick's Day
Some people love it; some people hate it. But no matter your opinion on St. Patrick's Day, it's the biggest day of the year for Irish pubs. Here's a rundown of some of the most popular events around town. (A much longer list is at goingoutguide.com.) Quick advice: Crowds begin to build around 5:30 p.m. at most pubs, so you'll want to be inside by then. And let's be honest: Bar crawling isn't really an option, because these places fill up. Choose one place you want to be, rather than two places to wait in line. And, finally, don't drink and drive. SoberRide (_blankwww.soberride.org) is offering free taxi rides home between 4 p.m. and 4 a.m.
- Fritz Hahn
DC 101 Kegs & Eggs DC 101's early-morning party is a traditional St. Patrick's Day kickoff, because who doesn't like Guinness and radio-friendly rock for breakfast? This year's free concert at the 9:30 Club features Christian rockers Switchfoot, the Gracious Few and local staples Carbon Leaf. Arrive around 7 a.m. if you want to get in. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. www.dc101.com.
Fado The D.C. pub is celebrating its 13th anniversary with a full week of events, including a special pub quiz Monday night, but everything culminates in a huge St. Patrick's Day party. Doors open at 7 a.m. for a traditional breakfast, and there's live rock from 3 p.m. on, beginning with Celtic favorites 40 Thieves. Fado willbegin charging a $10 cover about 2 p.m., but patrons receive a gift card good for $10on their next visit. 808 Seventh St. NW. 202-789-0066. www.fadoirishpub.com.
Flanagan's Harp and Fiddle Flanagan's is known for two things on St. Patrick's Day: showing Irish sports on TV - the All-Ireland football and hurling championships are in Dublin on Thursday - and hosting live music all day, whether that's singer-songwriters or a pipe band composed of local firefighters. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. for breakfast, and the bar will start charging a $10 cover in the afternoon for anyone who's not having dinner. 4844 Cordell Ave., Bethesda. 301-951-0115. www.flanagansharpandfiddle.com.
Murphy's of Alexandria The best Irish pub in a city full of them, Murphy's offers a lively St. Patrick's Day party with live music by Pat Carroll and Rocky Guttman all day and a lunchtime Irish dance performance. The best part? Unlike most parties on the 17th, this one comes without a cover charge. 713 King St., Alexandria. 703-548-1717. www.murphyspub.com .
Old Brogue If you're looking for lunch and dinner, this Great Falls pub has you covered, with set menus ($35 lunch, $40-$50 dinner; reservations required) accompanied by music from County Donegal's own Pennywhistle in the dining room. If you'd rather just hoist a pint and sing a few songs, local troubadour Ted Garber is performing in the pub from 1 p.m. to close. Doors open at 10 a.m., and there's a $10 charge for those not dining. 760C Walker Rd., Great Falls. 703-759-3309. www.oldbrogue.com.
P. Brennan's The huge Columbia Pike pub marks its first St. Patrick's Day with an all-day party featuring Irish dancers, traditional music and live rock. Admission is free until 6 p.m. and $5 after. 2910 Columbia Pike, Arlington. 703-553-1090. www.pbrennans.com.