Update 5 p.m. 3-13-20: Due to concerns about the coronavirus there have been some cancellations since we first published this list. The Katy Pub Crawl and planned events at Saint Arnold's Beer Garden are no longer scheduled for this weekend. Changes are noted in the copy below.
It's the most emerald time of the year, where the most diverse city in the United States turns Irish for a day, or a week at some establishments around town. It's a celebratory time where we are all full of blarney and have no idea what we are actually celebrating. For the record, March 17 is the day Saint Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, is believed to have died and it is his Feast Day. The streets of Houston flow with green beer and green beads in honor of a saint who would certainly not approve.
This year's trends seem to be toward corned beef and cabbage specials and crawfish boils, though we are pretty sure that crawfish are not normally part of the Feast of Saint Patrick. There are a number of celebrations and food and drink specials around town and we have quite a list, a list that we will be adding to as we get closer to this weekend's festivities, so check back often.
Friday March 13
House of Blues
The House of Blues will start St. Pat's early with Reckless Kelly and a concert pre-party beginning at 6 p.m. with green cocktails made with 8th Wonder vodka. There will also be an exclusive preview of 8th Wonder's TEX beer.
This raucous pub downtown starts its St. Paddy's Day off early on Friday the thirteenth. This will also be the thirteenth year for its St. Patrick's Day celebration so maybe 13 is a lucky number for Lucky's Pub. The Tapping of the Keg happens March 13 with "Bands, Bugs and Green Suds". There will be $1 Green Beers all night and live music. The bugs (crawfish) will be $3.99 at Lucky's Lodge.
Lucky's Pub keeps the craic going March 14 when it opens its doors at 8 a.m. for "St. Practice Day".
The official 61st Houston St. Patrick's Day Parade will begin at noon on Saturday, March 14 and end conveniently at the front door of Lucky's where there will be awards, bands and plenty of green beer plus music from The Dead Rabbits.
There will be a Leprechaun Scavenger Hunt on March 15 for those who survived the previous day's festivities and the 3rd Annual Leprechaun Drop happens March 16. Then, Lucky's revs up for another massive St. Patrick's Day Festival March 17 from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. the next morning. Plan well and wisely, little leprechauns.
This neighborhood bar will be featuring pre-St. Paddy Day weekend specials March 13 through March 15. There will be $5 Tullamore Dew shots, $6 Irish Mules, $4 Guinness and $6 Irish Car Bombs. On Saturday there will be an ice block for shots. There will be bar bites like the Corned Beef Tacos with Mexican Slaw ($3) and Bangers and Mash, Mexican-style ($9)
Saturday March 14
Katy Pub Crawl at La Centerra
23501 Cinco Ranch
This free event hosted by Saint Arnold's Brewing starts at Baker St. Pub and Grill where participants can get their punch cards between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. and begin their pub crawls by 2 p.m. There are four other participating vendors to visit to get your card punched: World of Beer, The Rouxpour, Bar Louie and Fish City Grill. After patronizing all five places, crawlers return to Baker St. and will be awarded a 2020 St. Patrick's Day pint glass from Saint Arnold's. Designated drivers are eligible as well.Cancelled
This casual restaurant from restaurateur Benjamin Berg will kick off its weekly Saturday crawfish boils with a special St. Patrick's Day edition. The party runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature music from The Stringbenders and Irish food specials like Corned Beef and Cabbage and Bangers and Mash. New Orleans native Jeff Baron, of Berg Hospitality, will be cooking up mudbugs with his own special recipe from noon to 4 p.m., or until it runs out. Crawfish will be sold at market price. Reservations are recommended and there will be complimentary valet and street parking.
King's Bier Haus
2044 E TC Jester, Heights
828 W FM 646, League City
King's Bier Haus Heights will be hosting a St. Patrick's Day " Biers, Brats and Boils" with live music beginning at 5 p.m. on Saturday. There will be crawfish and shrimp boils available and specials on Irish whiskey, green beer and bier and shotski deals. The League City location will offer some of the specials but there will be no live music. Its other concept, King's Biergarten in Pearland will offer some of the same specials, but no live music or boils.
Monday March 16
B & B Butchers
For something a little more refined than green beer and leprechaun hats, treat yourself to a pre-St. Patrick's Day evening of whiskey tasting. B & B Butchers is hosting the Teeling Whiskey Dinner March 16 from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. There will be a welcome reception followed by a three course Irish-inspired feast from executive chef Eduardo Montesflores. It will include Teeling Whiskey pairings by beverage director Jeremiah Butler. Tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite for $150 and include tax and gratuity but not the Eventbrite fees.
Tuesday March 17: St. Patrick's Day
Axis Lounge at Royal Sonesta Houston
2222 West Loop
From noon to midnight, guests can enjoy Shepherd's Pie and a Guinness Stout combo for $10.
Brennan's of Houston
If you can resist the pull of seafood gumbo and Gulf shrimp etouffee at this New Orleans-style fine dining restaurant, it is offering a Smoked Corned Beef Brisket Po'boy with pickled cabbage coleslaw, caramelized onions all mopped with a Guinness barbecue sauce for $12.99, only on St. Patrick's Day.
Eight Row Flint
This Heights hangout is hosting a St. Patrick's Day Party that will bring out the wee lad or lassie in you while satisfying your adult needs as well. There will be a Jameson Irish Whisky ice cream truck from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. with $8 ice cream cones. There will also be Jameson cocktail specials ranging from $8 to $10 the day of and the preceding weekend, if you want to start a bit early.
8th Wonder Distillery
8th Wonder will be offering three Green drink specials, a frozen drink and its take on the Irish Car Bomb, made with 8th Wonder Whiskey and Viet-Irish coffee from 5 p.m. to midnight.
Frank's Americana Revival
White Star Bar
For a more sophisticated St. Patrick's Day, Frank's is offering several dishes inspired by the land of Eire. There's a cottage pie, a potato leek soup with Irish white cheddar and smoked Skuna Bay salmon with colcannon. There's also the White Star Irish Coffee named for the intimate bar which sits inside Frank's. Owner Mike Shine's father, " Mick", immigrated to the U.S. from Ireland in 1933. Shine remembers his father making his own version of a "toddy" with black coffee and a small shot of whiskey plus a bit of sugar and cream. He said it reminded him of home. The White Star version is $12 and is made with Demerara syrup, Irish whiskey, hot coffee and topped with heavy cream and zested nutmeg. We've included the recipe at the end if you would like to make your own.
Kenny and Ziggy's New York Delicatessen
5172 Buffalo Speedway
2327 Post Oak Boulevard
A Jewish deli may seem an odd place to celebrate St. Patrick's Day but along with its Corned Beef and Cabbage plate special for March 17, K&Z's offers a bit of interesting history. In a press release, we were told that the special is inspired by the Loyal League of Yiddish Sons of Erin, a group founded in the late 1800s in New York City by Michael Mann, an Irish-Jewish immigrant from Dublin and a well known NYC labor leader. He was joined by fellow Irish-Jewish immigrants and they would celebrate the holiday with green matzo balls and later, green bagels. Eventually, the group was marching in the famous New York City St. Patrick's Day parade.
The Corned Beef and Cabbage special comes with three-fourths of a pound of corned beef, two sides, a house salad and a beer for $23.95. There's also the Guinness Beer Ice Cream Float for dessert. Guests must save their naps for home.
McGonigel's Mucky Duck
There are few places in Houston more fitting to celebrate the world's favorite Irish holiday than the Mucky Duck. Part pub, part concert venue, it offers an Irish and English themed ambiance and always some of the best musicians. This will be the 30th year for the family-friendly St. Patrick's Day party. It will begin with a children's Faerie Tea Party with two seatings, one at 11:30 a.m. and the second at 1:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased from Eventbrite for $28 plus the $5 Eventbrite service fee. General Admission for the music is $25 plus a $5 service fee or $28 at the door, if you take your chances. The Emerald Reserve Seats will have two seatings: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. then 4:30 p.m. to close. Those seats are $90 plus $5 service fee through Eventbrite.
The musical line up includes piper E.J. Jones and the Piper Jones Band, Clandestine (who she also plays with), Ulla, The Flying Fish Sailors, Wyndrwyre, Clann Kelly Irish Dancers, Lowground and Francis Cunningham. Pat Byrne, the winner of The Voice of Ireland, will also perform. The crowd will get to do an Irish singalong with Martin Burnston and be entertained over the course of the evening by Master of Ceremonies, juggler and comedian with mad skills, Mr. Jim McKenzie.
Naturalist Bar at Intercontinental Houston-Medical Center
Chef Tiago Almeida has created a dish of green deviled eggs topped with caviar for St. Patrick's Day. That is completely different than most other bar offerings around town, but they are only $6, so if you find yourself at this modern hotel bar, toast to the Irish saint with a couple of stuffed eggs.
Revolve Bar & Grill at Hotel Derek
2525 W. Loop S.
This uptown hotel bar and restaurant will offer a half-pound Corned Beef Sandwich with Dubliner cheese and a side of Irish potato salad for $15. Revolve also has a special green St. Patrick's Day cocktail to wash that tarnisher down. It's made with sour apple, butterscotch Schnapps and Jameson then topped with ginger beer, for all you Irish gingers out there.
Saint Arnold's Beer Garden and Restaurant
On St. Patrick's Day, you can celebrate two saints with one stop at Saint Arnold's from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. There will be live music from the Dead Rabbits, Pratty, Slummer and The Tomfooligans. Special St. Patrick's Day pint glasses will be available for purchase. Admission is free but you can step up the fun with the Super Saint package for $50. It includes a commemorative stemmed glass, a 500ml Irish Imperial Stout and an Art Car IPA tote bag. It also includes open taps 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and a VIP Service Bar. The annual Donegal Beard Growing Competition will feature dozens of competitors who will be vying for the prize of a membership in the Saint Arnold Society. Postponed
Wednesday March 18
This pretty nightclub will host a post St. Patty's Day Industry Party with DJ NOVA from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. which will coincide with its Simply Southern Steak Night. Guests can choose either a 12 ounce ribeye or 8 ounce filet mignon, with two sides for $20. The 40 ounce Tomahawk steak goes for $60 and must be ordered in advance. Reservations recommended.
There will be $4 Green tea shots made with Jameson, peach, simple syrup and Sprite plus $4 draft beers and frozens. There will also be special St. Patrick's Day events at Belle Station starting March 14 with Crawfish and St. Patty's Pub Crawl "Kiss Me I'm Irish" with Barcrawlerz. Sucka Free Sunday is March 15 with St. Patty's dress up and DJ ATG. St. Patrick's Day itself will feature a celebration and pub crawls all day with Barcrawlerz and Bar Crawl Better Co. There will also be $4 Green Teas, draft beers and frozen specials.
Thursday March 19
Brennan's of Houston
This New Orleans-inspired Houston institution will host an Irish Whiskey Tasting as part of its Spirit Round Table from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. March 19. Bar Manager Richard Middleton will lead participants through a side by side tasting of whiskies that he has chosen himself. There will be complimentary nibbles from Executive Chef Joe Cervantez. The cost is $25 per person plus tax and gratuity.
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White Star Irish Coffee by Frank's Americana Revival:
3/4 oz. Demerera syrup (one part Demerera sugar, one part water)
1 1/2 oz. Irish whiskey (Red Breast Single Pot Still preferred)
4 ounces Hot, brewed coffee
Heavy cream, lightly whipped
1) Fill an Irish coffee glass or mug with hot water. Let stand to warm.
2) Pour out water and add Demerera syrup, whiskey and coffee.
3) Stir to combine and top with layer of heavy cream, about a 1/2 inch.
4) Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.