Last Call: Is St. Paddy’s Day the Craziest Bar Night of the Year?


WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING?
I co-manage a bar. I also bartend there on the weekends.

greenbeerWHAT KIND OF BAR IS IT?
It’s an Irish pub. It’s also kind of a sports bar. We do a lot of business during all of the games.

WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?
We’re in Philly. I actually don’t want to say the name because we didn’t clear it with the owner.

THAT’S OK. WHAT IS IT LIKE ON A TYPICAL NIGHT?
Depends on the night really. I mean the bar itself is always full. Sunday’s during football season we’re packed. If there’s a big game of any kind on, we’re packed. On the weekends if we have live music, we’re packed.

WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST BAR NIGHTS FOR YOU?
We’re really busy New Year’s Eve. We do a lot of business on Fat Tuesday, Super Bowl Sunday, the night before Thanksgiving, and of course St. Paddy’s Day. Easily our biggest day by a mile. You know, the whole Irish bar thing.

NATURALLY. SO HOW DOES THE CROWD DIFFER FROM THE OTHER BIG DAYS?
Differ, well…. It’s just so packed. I mean from morning til night, open to close, the bar is full to the doors and rolling out onto the street.

HOW IS THE CROWD? ANY DIFFERENT?
Um, it gets a little rowdy. I mean, any of the big nights can get rough. If you get the right combination of factors any night can go wrong. It’s just harder to manage all of those people. Plus, everyone is drinking. I mean everyone. Sometimes on Super Bowl Sunday people are just in to watch the game. They might eat some wings, drink soda, whatever. On St. Paddy’s Day, everyone is out to drink. I mean, green beers and whatever. If you’re coming out on St. Paddy’s Day, 9 times out of 10 it’s to get hammered! Plus, people are in and out, in and out. Bar hopping, pub crawls and all that. So, it’s like a revolving door for like 16 straight hours.

ARE THERE A LOT OF FIGHTS OR TROUBLE VS OTHER DAYS? ANY ST. PADDY’S DAY HORROR STORIES?
Probably 80% of the people are just happy drunks. Just out to enjoy the night, wear all their green gear, and get smashed. Then like 10% are kids who can’t hold their liquor. They tend to be more of the fall down, puke in the bathroom, pass out kind. Then the other 10% are your assholes. The beer muscles, shit attitude, I’m gonna do whatever I want kind. They suck.

SO YOU’VE HAD PEOPLE PASS OUT IN THE BAR?
Oh yeah. That’s not even a St. Paddy’s Day thing (laughter). People pass out, they fall asleep, they hook up with strangers. Working in a bar is the ultimate people watching experience. People lose stuff all the time. I’ve had people lose their wallet, their keys, their money, their phones, their shoes.

THEIR SHOES?
I know right!? I’ve found shoes, single shoes, in the ladies room. All I could think of is how did this person leave the bar and get to wherever they were going with ONE shoe on!? I don’t get it.

SO, ARE YOU IRISH?
Nope. Not a lick. My grandparents came over from Armenia. And I think on the other side they are Dutch and German.

SO HOW’D YOU COME TO BE CO-MANAGING AN IRISH PUB ON ST. PADDY’S DAY?
I needed a job and I live really close. I was walking my dog one day and I saw a little sign. I thought that was weird. Who puts an actual ‘help wanted’ sign in the window anymore. So, I went in. I was like, why am I not having to apply on Monster.com or something? But, I liked that. It’s cool. I walked in and applied to be the Tuesday and Thursday night bartender. And I swear the owner is Irish, the manager is Irish, every other bartender, barback, busser, whatever is freakin’ Irish or part Irish. And then there’s me. I look like Pocahontas standing next to her (the other bartender working- strawberry blonde and freckled).

SO FROM TWO WEEKNIGHTS BARTENDING TO A MANAGEMENT GIG AND BARTENDER ON THE BUSIEST NIGHTS OF THE YEAR?
Yeah, it probably seems like I’m sleeping with the owner or something (laughter). Right after I started working 3 girls left to go back to school, so I took the weekend gig. Then the manager left to spend more time with her 2 kids. It just kind of fell into my lap.

ST. PADDY’S DAY IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER ARE YOU READY?
Always. It’s a Tuesday night so you’d think it wouldn’t be as crazy, but it still gets nuts. That’s the other thing, some of the busier days are effected by what day of the week they fall on, I mean except those that are always the same like Super Bowl Sunday and Thanksgiving Eve. But, St. Paddy’s Day could be on a Tuesday, a Thursday, it doesn’t much matter when it is or what else is going on, people want their green beer and they’re gonna get it!

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