Two rules when going to Irish pubs, both stateside and abroad: (1) shave the goll durn mustache off your upper lip before, and (2) throw


Plenty o' pints

A guide to Seattle's St. Patty's hangouts, in chart form.

Two rules when going to Irish pubs, both stateside and abroad: (1) shave the goll durn mustache off your upper lip before, and (2) throw the lifestyle calendar in the fireplace and ask Madeleine instead. The former rule is a recent one, brought into effect via a well-publicized statement from Guinness lambasting mustachioed Guinness drinkers for wasting $675,900 worth of the dark, cascading elixir every year because "a genuine mustache has been proven to contribute to a significant Guinness wastage, as a result of inter-fiber retention at every sip." OK, fine, shaving's easy enough, but more importantly, you got Maddy's digits? That's right, the phone number of the Seattle native-cum-County Galway barmaid who knows a thing or three about what it takes to put the Irish in pub. Well, I do, which means I'm way more qualified to dis and praise our city's slipshod smattering of faux Irish pubs, with apologies to those that didn't make it (Christ, I only had a week—how much you want me to drink?).

(Rating: one to five *, five meaning the bar could be picked up and moved overseas and the natives wouldn't know the difference)


The Pour

Irish Waitstaff?

Liquor (Namely, Tillamoor Dew Whiskey)?

Drunken, Sing-Along House Band?

Rating & Comment


3405 Fremont N, 548-1508

My neighbor Dan (the bartender here) has mastered the no-frills, let-it-sit technique of the Guinness pint pour.

Like one waitress is Irish, so score some points here.

Unfortunately, no hard stuff—and Sam Adams is on special (tsk, tsk—should be Beamish).

Occasionally—music is varied, with open-mike night being the signature modus operandi.


Sympathy points for staying a dive amidst Fremont's yuppification.

Conor Byrne

5140 Ballard NW, 784-3640

My neighbor Dan's other bartending gig, but the whole crew does a bang-up job.

Irish owner, largely Irish staff—don't come any more ready-made than this.

Nope, but if you really wanted to, I'm sure they'd let you nurse a flask.

Best Celtic music this town has to offer, almost every night.


Despite its liquor and food shortcomings, this is where I hang on St. Patty's.

Old Pequliar

1722 NW Market, 782-8886

Three perfect pints, three different drawings in the foam (clover, peace sign, ying-yang).

No, but the bartender's pour makes up for this.

Hell yes, and people are taking the bull by the horns.

Nah, but the meaty Ballard Firehouse-esque disco cover band is a hoot.


A solid four shamrocks, if you appreciate Ballard's prevalent drunkenness.

Irish Emigrant

5260 University Wy NE, 525-2955

So-so—a little quick.

Enough Micks to merit the Seal of Blarney.

Yeah, albeit understated.

Not the night I was there, but Trivia Night with a mostly Irish crowd more than made up for this.


Mostly due to the jovial crowd of foreigners and the fact that I couldn't believe this was the old Sportsbar.


2307 24th E, 726-5968

Dunno. My friends and I drank Black Butte Porter all night.

No, chicks with leather necklaces. But they were goddamn attentive.

Yup, a wicked Irish coffee, the cocaine of drinks.

Nope, a total sports bar setup.


Even though it's mainly a Husky hangout that doesn't come close to resembling an Irish pub, I still give it two-and-a-half shamrocks cuz I had a great time with my pals.

Murphy's Pub

1928 N 45th, 634-2110

I had to wait so goddamn long between beers that I didn't really give a shite.

See Grady's, except these gals held the very fact that I was a male against me.

Yeah, I did actually enjoy a couple fingers of Tillamoor here.

No, weird fusion folk instead.


Just because you've got a Rolls (this bar looks great) doesn't mean you can neglect the engine (horrible service, bland crowd).


1916 Post Alley, 728-1916

Fine, but waitress forgot to lay off the bong before her shift.

Yeah, when the owner's son works.

Whiskey is Kell's maiden name.

A couple cats, a guitar—whiskey in the jar. Helluva jam on St. Patty's.


The crown jewel of a chain that also rears its head in Portland and San Fran.

Owl 'n Thistle

808 Post, 621-7777

Round One: a little quick. Round Two: just right, sweets.

Irish waitress' brogue made me weak at the knees.

Spirits galore—"let's tear shite up!"

Ladies and gentlemen, the Owl 'n Thistle Band!


Would be four were it not for the meat/meet market factor on the weekends.

T.S. McHugh's

21 Mercer, 282-1910

No Imperial Pint, no good.

Nope, sorry.

Liquor's the name of the game here, 'specially when it's 10 minutes till tip-off.

Wouldn't want to interrupt everyone's dining experience, would they?


F.X. McRory's Lite—albeit with a great-looking exterior.

O'Shea's Casino

3555 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV, 702-697-2711

I was drinking warm whiskey out of plastic cups and didn't give a shite.

I don't think the Irish live in trailers in the desert.

Long as you're droppin' Benjamins, they'll serve you rubbing alcohol till sunrise.

George Thorogood and Steve Miller on the jukebox 24-7.


Lose money? Then no shamrocks. But if you win here, it's five shamrocks. Everyone appreciates a loose slot.

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