“Slainte! In AC”
Atlantic County Magazine – GACCA Article
Print Date 3.12.2021
By Judy Brenna
It’s that time again. Where everyone gets to pretend for a day that they’re of Irish decent and commits an entire 24 hours to copious ale and Irish whiskey consumption and insisting on speaking like a little leprechaun. I have often been caught shouting “did ya loose yer lucky charms, laddie?” throughout the years, also meandering through the day carrying a giant stick, slurring to random people that it’s “me magical Shillelagh”, and if they buy me a pint, I’ll grant them “me pot o’ gold”. When you think of St. Patrick’s Day, you probably think of green beer, shot glass necklaces and t-shirts with sayings like “Kiss Me I’m Irish”, which is always hilarious to me when I see an Italian guy from the Jersey Shore with a blowout ((yes, some of them still do that)) wearing one. That’s all well and good, but I bet they don’t know much about the holiday’s origins, nor do they know much about the saint it celebrates. I always think it’s important to know the origins of the holidays we celebrate. Partly because I’m a history loon but also because it’s a refreshing reminder that the concept has very little to do with marketing ploys or being gluttonous. But hey, it’s America, this is just how we roll.
Fun fact! St. Patrick’s Day will mark the one year anniversary of my unemployment (plus 1 day). This is no way pertinent information related to this article, but I thought this would be an excellent #opentowork plug. But I digress. Saint Patrick was actually born in Banna Venta Berniae, a town in Roman Britain, sometime in the late 300s AD. That’s right, Patrick wasn’t Irish ((cue the gasps)). And his name wasn’t even Patrick, it was Maewyn Succat, but at some point in his life, aside from having several other monikers, he chose to be known as Patricius. It’s a very long story, but cliff’s notes version, his father was a Christian deacon, but teenage Patrick, teeming with teenage Patrick hormones, wasn’t having it, ran away, was captured by Druidic Irish Pirates, enslaved for 6 years as a shepherd (which I’m not sure why but I find that amusing), ran away, got caught again, ran away again, got caught AGAIN ((clearly escaping wasn’t his forte)), but this time by the French (who sent him back to Britain), reunited with his papa, to which end he hopped on the Christian train, had a vision of a Christian Ireland, travelled back to Ireland in his 20’s, carrying a big ol’ sack of Christianity with him, spent the rest of his life converting the Irish pagans, then died. The Feast Day, to commemorate the bringing of Christianity to Ireland, began on the one-year anniversary of his death, believed to be March 17, 461 A.D.
So, it IS customary to feast on this day. How it merged into a day of sloppy alcohol consumption and filling everything from bagels to rivers with green food dye, I am unsure. Nonetheless, it is a reason to celebrate. And while the 2021 St. Patrick’s Day Parade was cancelled, yet again, in Atlantic City ((curse you Covid!)), there are quite a few places to safely celebrate. One great place to stop at is Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall. Located on the Orange Loop in Atlantic City, this Saturday they are offering live music and entertainment in the Beer Barden, featuring Glenn Roberts at 3 pm, Emerald Isle Dance Academy at 4 pm, and Quasimodo’s Bride at 5 pm. In addition to their great lineup, they’re also offering delectable Irish themed grub like Reuben Spring Rolls and Corned Beef, Cabbage and Potato Platters, as well as fantastic Irish-themed drink specials like $6 20 oz Draft Guinness, $10 20 oz Draft Guinness and shot of Jameson Whiskey combo, $5 House Made Irish Cream Shots ((yes please)) and $10 Irish Car Bombs. I have no idea what that is but all I know is I want one. Check out their events page at https://www.tennesseeavenuebeerhall.com. They’re also hosting their own Restaurant week starting March 14th through the 28th, with Bar 32 Chocolate, Rhythm & Spirits, Cuzzie's Pizzeria Kitchen and Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall participating, offering up some amazing tasting menus and deals. Make your plans now!
And what better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than by hopping over to Bourre’ on New York Avenue for The E Street Shuffle! While Bruce Springsteen is not Irish, he’s all Jersey, so come celebrate the Boss’ classics, hits and deep tracks performed live and outdoors at Bourre' Beach Concert Stage and Container Park on the Orange Loop. Doors open at noon and all ages are welcome, with a $10 cover charge, with the Kevin Hill Duo opening at 12:30 pm and The E Street Shuffle going on at 2 pm. And this is Bourre’ we’re talking about, so you know your taste buds will be more that tantalized. Click on this link to purchase your tickets: https://allevents.in/atlantic%20city/springsteen-tribute-at-bourre-in-atlantic-city/200020664573051
If you’re going for authenticity there’s no better place in all of Atlantic County than The Irish Pub of Atlantic City, located at 164 James Place. The history of the Irish Pub dates back to the 19th century. It has survived hurricanes, prohibition, two world wars, high tides and low tides, fed the famous AND infamous and if you sit at the front table it is said eventually everybody in the world would pass by you. Situated on St. James Place & the Boardwalk, it has been identified with the game of Monopoly and the red hotels used in the game are based on the architecture of the Irish Pub. It’s also known for delivering a consistently authentic and fun entertainment experience and are staffed by friendly and well-trained employees. And this place is SO super that even Academy Award Winning Screenwriter, Budd Schulberg, who penned the film “On the Waterfront”, said “I would like to spend my last hours on earth at The Irish Pub”. Who are we to challenge a famous writer’s dying words? Check them out at http://www.theirishpub.com.
And lastly, Resorts Atlantic City is offering an endless number of specials on March 13th and March 17th, with authentic Irish Bagpipers performing through the casino on both days, as well as the Shamrock Prize Patrol delivering special prizes throughout both days. You will also find great food and drink specials at Breadsticks, Bar One, Draftkings Sportsbook, Wet Willies and Cielo, AND the casino will be running great St. Paddy Day promotions and giveaways on the casino floor. For more information check them out at https://resortsac.com/entertainment/st-patricks-day-events-atlantic-city/.
With this list you have everything you need to commemorate Maewyn Succat ((errr, I mean St. Patrick)) the American way. Go forth and celebrate. Just remember, we still have Covid restrictions in place, so keep up with the social distancing, wear your mask, and most importantly, ((as I reach for my 3-foot-tall Irish top hat, sparkly green clown sunglasses, giant Shillelagh, and a double shot of Jameson)), drink responsibly. Until next week… Slainte! #stayjerseystrong