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Have a Feast on St. Patrick's Day
By Jeff Kaliss
Used to be you could depend on a couple of events to warm up the winter months with mass communal consumption of spirits in public places. But now that the Niners aren't getting near the Super Bowl, there's only one chance, and that's St. Patrick's Day, which raises its glass in the new millennium (1,500 years after Patrick's death) on a Friday, safely at the end of the workweek.
The tippling associated with March 17 is fortunately mediated by the ingestion of food, and establishments in and around Noe Valley compete to get patrons eating early. Nancy Emery, a tender of Noe's Bar at Church and 24th, expects to have corned beef and cabbage available by noon, accompanied by potato salad.
The crowd traveling up 24th Street to the Dubliner (near Vicksburg) and the Rover's Inn (24th and Noe), both owned by ex-Dubliner Vince Hogan, can feast on similar food inside, or take their Harp and Guinness outside and order through the pubs' windows. That's thanks to special police permits, which will allow Hogan to expand the sidewalk mingling space and to channel recorded jigs and reels through loudspeakers. Irish dancers, who know how to move to that music, are also likely to drop by.
Amanda Gill, bar manager at the Coyote Club, which recently replaced the Rat and Raven (24th near Castro), says the new tavern will be barbecuing rather than boiling their meat on St. Patrick's Day, assuming they can refurbish their backyard space in time.
At O'Greenberg's Bar on the corner of Dolores and 29th -- a pub now celebrating its 22nd anniversary -- the menu will have a different twist: green bagels to go with the green beer and corned beef.
The Liberties Irish Bar and Restaurant, at the site of the former Cafe Babar, will start its fete on the Eve of St. Patrick's and continue throughout the next day, along 22nd Street between Guerrero and Fair Oaks. Eugene Powers, the Liberties' owner and chef, will present his corned beef as hash, or in quesadillas. Patrons can wash down these delicacies with a variety of Hibernian malts, whiskies, and cocktails while they enjoy the visiting step-dancers and Highland pipers.
Keane's 3300 Club, located at the other end of Noe Valley at 3300 Mission Street (near 29th), plans to pepper the entire month of March with things Irish, starting with an appearance March 11 of the Black Brothers, siblings of world-famous Celtic songbirds Mary and Frances Black.
The neighborhood is also invited to the club's Limerick Contest on March 14 and a reading by Frank Holt and other Irish poets on March 28. Keane's will serve corned beef and cabbage during the Black Brothers' session, as well as on the 17th, when local musicians are likely to enhance the special day.