We count down the 12 Days to Christmas, why not the 17 Days to St. Patrick’s Day? If there’s one holiday that should be a season of cheer, it’s this one, we say. Here’s Edition 13 of the Vacay.ca St. Patrick’s Day in Canada Countdown — where we name 17 of the best Irish bars in the land!
Day 13: Shamrock City, St. John’s
Story by Candice Walsh
ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND — When trying to whittle down the options for featuring one of St. John’s many Irish pubs in the St. Patrick’s Day in Canada Countdown, my brain kept arguing in favour of the older, more notorious Irish hangouts. But truthfully, St. John’s newest Irish pub is my favourite. As the Irish Descendents sing, “There’s a band tonight down in Shamrock City, where the girls of Limerick are much too pretty” (except replace “Limerick” with “St. John’s” in this case, naturally).
Shamrock City has not stood the test of time like its other downtown counterparts, but it’s quickly becoming the place to be. Other than a welcoming, feel-good atmosphere, there are live performers every night, featuring both traditional Irish and Newfoundland music. The open floor in front of the stage is just perfect for dancing a jig, and if you spot The Navigators on the upcoming schedule, make it a point to see them live.
Even on Mondays, you’ll find Shamrock City one of the liveliest bars downtown, with a crowd that’s younger than other spots. Their menu features traditional pub fare, with a fine selection of Irish beers and whisky (and Irish coffee, of course). But a good Irish menu needs plenty of balance with Newfoundland tastes, and so make sure you try some of the cod tongues fried up with scrunchions. You’ll get a healthy blend of old Ireland values with a Newfoundland twist.
You know it’s authentically Irish because: The celebration starts on March 13, with what they’ve dubbed “St. Practice Day.” Kilkenny Crew will be there, and beer specials include 2-for-1 Molson products all night. Yes, that’s today, and yes, it’s a Tuesday night.
Quote about an Irishman: “D’Arcy Broderick, one of the owners, is a well-known Newfoundland-Irish musician who plays the fiddle, guitar, mandola, banjo, accordion, and mandolin,” says Suzanne Chaput, a representative for Shamrock City. “And, yes, he is a regular act at his own pub.”
Cost of a Pint of Guinness: $6 (plus taxes).
St. Patrick’s Day plans: Live music all day and all night! The morning kicks off with an Irish breakfast special, and then moves on to music starting at 9 am. Kilkenny Crew, Devils Racket, Hagdown, Blacky O’Leary, and (my favourite) The Punters. Make sure you find a dance partner for when “Candlelight and Wine” starts to play.
Contact: 340 Water Street (just below George Street), St. John’s, NL; 709-758-5483; www.shamrockcity.ca
Note: Photo courtesy of Shamrock City Pub.