St. Patrick's Day may officially be March 17, but the partying starts this weekend. Put on something green and head out to one of these local bars or restaurants to celebrate the Emerald Isle with green beer, Irish food specials, live Celtic music and more.
• Bauer's Brauhaus, 45 W. Slade St., Palatine, (847) 991-1040: The German bar and its staff will be decked out in green and two Irish singers perform from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, March 12. Many of the bar's beers will be served green and specials include $5 bowls of corned beef and cabbage soup, $13 fish and chips, $8 Reuben sandwiches and $6 Irish car bombs.
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• Claddagh's, 1702 Commons Drive, Geneva, (630) 208-0337: Celtic Sounds plays at 2 p.m. March 17 and Red Woody performs at 8 p.m.
• Durty Nellie's, 180 N. Smith St., Palatine, (847) 358-9150: The bar hosts the official after-party for Palatine's Paint the Town Green celebration. The bash kicks off at 12:30 p.m. March 12 and runs all night with a full lineup of live music featuring performances from Character Fleadh, Flatfoot 56, Rod Tuffcurls & The Bench Press, Re-Play and Wedding Banned.
• Emmett's Ale House, 5200 Main St., Downers Grove, (630) 434-8500: Emmett's serves up Irish food and drink specials all day March 17 and Mayor Ron Sandack comes in for a firkin tapping at 5 p.m. Folk rocker Tim Curran performs from 7 to 11 p.m.
• Emmett's Tavern & Brewing Co., 128 W. Main St., West Dundee, (847) 428-4500: Start celebrating early March 12 with a breakfast buffet from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Bagpipers perform at 10:30 a.m. and you can join a big wheel race at noon and compete in a pub quiz at 3:30 p.m. Midwest Comedy Showcase presents a free comedy show at 7:30 p.m. Up for more partying? Kingsfold performs from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. March 17.
• Finn McCool's Irish Sports Pub, 1941 E. Algonquin Road, Schaumburg, (847) 303-5100: Bagpipers perform throughout the day March 17 and a DJ spins until 1 a.m. The bar serves up green beer and $5 Jameson shots.
• John Barleycorn, 1100 American Lane, Schaumburg, (847) 619-5540: The Guinness bagpipers perform and the bar offers giveaways all day long March 17. Food and drink specials include $4 Green Miller Lite drafts, $5 Guinness drafts and $12.95 corned beef and cabbage dinners. At 7:30 p.m., the second-floor concert venue opens with a $5 to $10 cover. The Spazmatics perform from 8 to 11 p.m. and DJ Dennis spins 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.
• The Kerry Piper, 7900 Joliet Road, Willowbrook, (630) 325-3732: The annual tent party features live music outside and in the pub Friday and Saturday, March 11-12. Performers include Stellar Road, The Narrowbacks, Patrick's Rowdy Irishmen and The Larkin and Moran Brothers. Festivities continue all day March 17 with live music from Gavin Coyle, Three Men in Kilts and other bands.
• McCarthy's Irish Pub and Restaurant, 506 Hawthorn Center, Vernon Hills, (847) 367-4704: St. Patrick's Day is McCarthy's biggest day of the year. The spot typically sells 10,000 pounds of corned beef along with plenty of green beer and other Irish food specials such as shepherd's pie and fish and chips. The Chicago Rovers perform from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. March 17 and the celebration continues throughout the weekend with live music at 9 p.m. Friday, March 18, (Chicago Rovers and Kevin Purcell & the Night Burners) and Saturday, March 19, (Legendary Rock Stars). There is a $5 cover March 18-19.
• Mickey Finn's, 412 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville, (847) 362-6688: March 11 is Mickey Finn's third annual Misericordia St. Paddy's Day Fundraiser. The bar pitches a huge tent and offers dinner, soft drinks and entertainment from the McNulty Irish Dancers and Finbar Finnegan, plus a silent auction and raffle. Cover is $25 or $10 for kids, and performances kick off at 6:45 p.m. On March 12, the tent stays open and you can catch performances from the Trinity Irish Dancers, Donneybrook and Fitz and Celts for a $10 cover. On March 17, the bar opens at 7 a.m. for a breakfast buffet. You can catch Irish food and drink specials all day along with performances from the McNulty Irish Dancers, bagpipers, the Glen Ayre band and Ordinary Outcast.
• Mullen's Bar and Grill, 3080 Warrenville Road, Lisle, (630) 505-0240: The bar opens at 10 a.m. March 17 and hosts performances from Celtic Sounds from 4 to 7 p.m. and the Hat Guys at 9:30 p.m.
• Tommy Nevin's Pub, 3032 English Rows, Naperville, (630) 428-4242: The bar offers a full schedule of entertainment March 17. The Trinity Irish Dancers perform from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., The Larkin and Moran Brothers perform from noon to 3 p.m., Three Men in Kilts play from 4 to 8 p.m. and bagpipe group the Firefighters Highland Guard of Naperville takes the stage at 9 p.m. Drink specials include $5 Jameson and Absolut drinks and $3 Guinness, Bud and Bud Light pints.