As if overcompensating for Bono, Ireland has spread its convivial pubs to nearly every corner of the globe, offering whiskey-soaked reminders that the Emerald Isle is better than that. While these barroom embassies are solid drinking spots year-round, St. Patrick’s Day is their prime time.
With the Christian-rooted boozing holiday and the St. Paul (noon) and Minneapolis (6:30 p.m.) parades falling on a less party-friendly Monday, many Irish pubs are gearing up for a weekend of green-beaded revelry. Beer lines might be shorter at non-shamrock-brandishing bars, but if you can handle the crowds, hit one of these Celtic parties.
Morrissey’s Irish Pub
Morrissey’s in Uptown celebrates its first birthday Friday with the Brian Boru Irish Pipe Band and the Jolly Groggers (9 p.m.). The Lyn-Lake lads go bigger Saturday with a mini medallion hunt, sending participants through a few neighboring bars and back for a chance at a $500 prize. Morrissey’s is back on the horse Monday with live music starting at 3 p.m. (913 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-465-8555, www.morrisseysuptown.com.)
Kieran’s Irish Pub
Early-rising rugby fans can catch the 6 Nations Championship games at Kieran’s starting at 7 a.m. Saturday, with live music featuring PaddyWagon and Sweet Colleens from 4 p.m. to close, plus a heated-tent dance party on the patio. Kieran’s toasts its 20th anniversary Monday with 89.3 the Current broadcasting live from the bar (6-10 a.m.) and more music from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Expect bagpipers and a $5 cover both days. (85 N. 6th St., Mpls., 612-339-4499, www.kierans.com.)
Perennially popping before-and-after parade spot McGovern’s goes the hardest on Monday, with the Minnesota Police Pipe Band (1 p.m.) and its sprawling DJ-fueled tent party (2 p.m. music). If daytime debauchery is what you crave, this downtown St. Paul bar has you covered without a cover charge. (225 W. 7th St., St. Paul, 651-224-5821, www.patmcgoverns.com.)
O’Gara’s Bar & Grill
Aside from its annual “world’s shortest parade” (3:30-3:35 p.m.), O’Gara’s Bar & Grill offers multiple rooms of music on St. Paddy’s Day proper, with Tim Mahoney, the Shaun Mitzel Band, DJ Jonathan Ackerman and more. The 73-year-old bar keeps its parking-lot tent party rolling until 2 a.m. (164 N. Snelling Av., St. Paul, 651-644-3333, www.ogaras.com.)
The Dubliner Pub
The perfectly divey Dubliner does its tent-partying Monday with live music from Tap Two Trio (2-5 p.m.) and PaddyWagon (7 p.m.-close) and grub from the Blucy crew at the Blue Door Pub. (2162 W. University Av., St. Paul, 651-646-5551, www.thedublinerpub.com.)
Keegan’s Irish Pub
In northeast-ish Minneapolis, Keegan’s hosts two days of tented get-downs soundtracked by Four Pints Shy on Saturday (7 p.m.) and the Minnesota Police Pipe Band (4:30 p.m.) and Erin Rogue (6 p.m.) on Monday. Look for Jameson and Bushmills promo teams doling out samples both days. (16 University Av. NE., Mpls., 612-252-0880, www.keeganspub.com.)
McCormick’s Pub & Restaurant
McCormick’s in Wayzata parties Saturday through Monday with Irish dancers, tunes and brews ($5 cover Saturday and Monday). Festivities spill into the former Blanc de Blanc store, which McCormick’s is converting into a new dining room (look for an official June opening). A heads up: Sunday’s fete is for the kiddos. (331 Broadway Av. S., Wayzata, 952-767-2417, www.mccormickswayzata.com.)