Green beer flowed freely, chicken legs were eaten, music played and St. Patrick’s Day patrons at the Paddy Wagon Irish Pub were dressed in shamrocks.
The sun shone as people consumed libations and enjoyed the celebration of Ireland’s patron saint.
Not only is St. Patrick’s Day a cultural and religious celebration for individuals around the world, it is also one of the biggest working days for the Paddy Wagon Irish Pub in Richmond, as well as their biggest party.
According to Silas Smith, co-owner of the Irish-themed pub, the establishment bought nearly $20,000 worth of beer and liquor in preparation for its consumers.
“That includes beer, liquor, champagne, and some food — but my barrel room is stacked three stories high,” Smith explained.
Throughout the day, the pub saw people coming and going to partake in the pub’s breakfast bar, Bloody Mary bar, traditional Irish food and, of course, booze.
“We’ve been keeping busy throughout the day, and we’re moving and rolling,” Smith said Thursday. “It’s good.”
This St. Patrick’s Day was a marked difference from the celebrations of the past two years, which were heavily impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In fact, in 2020, the Paddy Wagon – like every other food service and entertainment establishment – was told just a day before its biggest day of the year that it would be required to close. The loss amounted to thousands of dollars in liquor sales and purchases.
Last year the event was able to return, but patrons were masked and social distancing was enforced, however, Smith said the vibe in the community just wasn’t as good as in previous years.
However, Thursday was alive and well.
“This is my twelfth (Paddy Wagon celebration) and this one reminds me of all the others,” he smiles.
Smith said safety was a priority for Paddy Wagon revelers, and he encouraged everyone to return home safely.
“In terms of business, we hope to remain stable,” he began. “But as the owner and for Paddy Wagon as an institution, we just want everyone to stay safe while they have fun. Come home safe, have a good time here, treat yourself each other with respect, protect your neighbour, protect yourself and make sure everyone gets home safe and sound, that’s what’s important to us.”
In addition to their traditional St. Patrick’s Day offerings, the bar was also selling Paddy Wagon Irish Red Ale, made in partnership by Dreaming Creek Brewery, just down the road.
Dreaming Creek also hosted a St. Patrick’s Day celebration, which included Kyle’s Kitchen food truck, green beer, craft beer deals, and the University of Kentucky men’s basketball game played on their TVs. .