Exactly one year ago, organizers began canceling the city’s time-honored St. Patrick’s Day events one by one. Watering holes preparing to pour pints for green-clad crowds called off their parties. Performers booked to enliven clover-filled celebrations scratched their setlists. And the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade never stepped off on its routine route from Mt. Vernon to the Inner Harbor. It was one of the first indicators that life as we knew it was about to drastically change in the wake of COVID-19.
But now, as the city—and the rest of the world—has adapted to pandemic life, we have a better handle on how to celebrate safely. And that’s just what the scene is preparing to do as March 17 approaches. Though the large-scale gatherings remain postponed (the parade is slated to return in 2022), there are plenty of opportunities for locals to throw on their green and keep it low key with takeout food and drink specials, socially distanced live music, and outdoor events.
Atwater’s: The traditional Irish soda bread is always a fan-favorite at this local cafe chain this time of year. This month, the team is widening its festive offerings to include takeaway dinners inspired by the lucky holiday. Treat your quarantine pod to beer-braised brisket with carrots and onions, authentic colcannon (mashed potatoes with cabbage), an Irish pub salad with beets and bleu cheese, and other dishes that will get you into the spirit.
An Poitin Stil: A jam-packed calendar of food and drink specials is in store for fans of this Timonium staple. Every day leading up to St. Patty’s, enjoy deals including $13 bangers and mash, corned beef and cabbage, fish and chips, Shepherd’s Pie, and Irish stew. Discounted drinks include $3 Smithwick’s pints, $5 Tullamore Dew cocktails, and $7 car bombs. On the big day, The Still will open at 9 a.m. with a special carryout food menu and a performance by Irish singer Tommy McCann from 5-9 p.m.
The Brewer’s Art: The takeout menu of aptly themed specials from this Mt. Vernon brewpub features all of the essentials—including corned beef made with The Brewer’s Art’s Resurrection brown ale, Irish bangers, colcannon potatoes, and house-made Bailey’s ice cream with Lucky Charms mixed in. Pre-orders are live now and will be available for pickup on March 17 from 4-9 p.m.
The Canton Local: If you haven’t had the chance to pick up pub fare from this Canton newbie, St. Patrick’s Day is a fitting opportunity. Modern twists on Irish classics include fish and chip egg rolls, poutine topped with shredded corned beef, and a banger sandwich with Jameson honey mustard.
Guinness Open Gate Brewery: Safety precautions are in place and the Guinness gates are open for some socially distanced fun this month. Every Thursday through Sunday in March, the Halethorpe facility is honoring its roots with outdoor movie nights, live entertainment, food specials, and weekly beer releases. The month-long menu of delicacies features eats such as slow-roasted prime rib, steak and kidney pie, pot roast, mashed potatoes, and house-baked brown bread. Plus, a full Irish breakfast and beer cocktails will be available when the brewery opens at 10 a.m. on March 17. Of course, Guinness also offers curbside service for anyone planning a party at home.
Shipyard Pub: This Canton watering hole is famous for its massive, 32-oz. craft Crushes. So it should come as no surprise that the team is mixing up a signature Irish Crush for the occasion. Other noteworthy drink deals will include green Jello shots, Jameson’s new cold brew, shot specials, and Irish mules.
Sláinte Irish Pub: While the annual “21 Days of St. Patrick” festivities at this Fells Point pub look a bit different this year, the bar is maintaining its tradition of opening bright and early on March 17. Throw on a mask and grab an outdoor table to enjoy a traditional Irish breakfast as early as 6 a.m.
THB Bagelry + Deli: All locations of this homegrown breakfast-and-lunch spot will feature green, orange, and white-swirled “Lucky Bagels” inspired by the Irish flag. Swing by your local THB on St. Patrick’s Day to snag one topped with your favorite schmear.
Waffie: This Hampden sweet spot is releasing a “Drink Me, I’m Irish” milkshake just in time for St. Pat’s weekend. Indulge in the festive sip that blends a mint Oreo base with Lucky Charms and is finished with drizzles of green syrup.
Wet City: Move over, McDonald’s. A boozy version of the classic Shamrock Shake is now available for pickup at this Mt. Vernon mainstay. The new slushie combines Vizcaya white rum, vodka, creme de menthe, ice cream, yogurt, sweetened condensed milk, and whipped cream. If you’re sticking with the green theme, Wet City is also featuring mint mocha and green Chartreuse-spiked hot chocolates.
Delia Foley’s: The annual block party blowout hosted by this South Baltimore pub has once again been postponed to keep the community safe, but the bar still has a few small, socially distanced events in store this month. Among them will be a music showcase by Noah Pierre on Saturday, March 13 from 6-10 p.m. Take in the live tunes while sipping $4 Guinness Blonde drafts and $5 Jameson drinks.
Looney’s: This go-to pub with locations in Canton, Perry Hall, and Bel Air is always down to celebrate the holidays the best way it knows how—with food and drink deals. Looney’s is currently offering a $35 “Lucky Carryout Box” that comes complete with a bottle of Jameson, two Deep Eddy lime minis, bottled cocktails, and lots of other green swag. If you’re hoping to catch some live music, the Perry Hall location will host the Shamrogues on March 13 and Dwayne Wilson and Darkhouse Duo on March 14. On St. Patrick’s Day, the bar will feature Poehemia Celtic Rock from 2-6 p.m. and Backseat Hooligans from 7-11 p.m.
MaGerk’s Bel Air: The Shamrogues are set to perform their lively songs and stories of Ireland for seated diners at MaGerk’s in Bel Air on Saturday, March 13 and Wednesday, March 17 from 12-3 p.m. Settle in with appetizers and a signature Creamsicle Crush while taking in the band’s unique blend of Irish song and dance.
Union Jack’s: Though this Columbia gathering spot is technically a British pub, it’s still pulling out all of the stops to honor the luck of the Irish. Doors will open at 9 a.m. with beat-the-clock specials on Guinness, Harp, and Jameson running until 3 p.m. Grab a seat, mask up, and stick around for spirited covers by Amish Outlaws, who are set to take the stage at 6 p.m.
Ales on the Rails at the B&O Railroad Museum: Spend your Sunday sipping pints and Irish coffees while sampling Guinness brats and corned beef in the spacious outdoor pavilion at this South Baltimore institution. On Sunday, March 14, the birthplace of American railroading is raising a glass to Ireland with live performances by Irish guitarist Brendan Pelan and the Maple Academy of Irish Dance. Plus, attendees are invited to browse unique goods from A Lit’le Irish Too, as well as stop by the table run by Maryland’s Commitment to Veterans to learn about their mission to support service members, veterans, and their families.
Virtual St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock 5K: Lace up your running shoes, throw on your green garb, and take to your favorite neighborhood route (or your treadmill) to complete this annual 5K to benefit St. Vincent De Paul Baltimore—a nonprofit that supports community members impacted by poverty. Taking a virtual format this year, the race can be completed anywhere and as long as times are submitted before 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, March 14. If you happen to be embarking on a route around Fells Point on the last day, Charm City Run will be offering post-race drinks and snacks at the Thames Street store from 9-11 a.m.