With a little luck of the Irish, it shouldn't be hard to find a fun way to spend St. Patrick's Day weekend. Here are some suburban options to get the party started.
Ballydoyle, 28 W. New York St., Aurora, (630) 844-0400, and 5157 Main St., Downers Grove, (630) 969-0500, ballydoylepub.com/. Get up early on St. Patrick's Day for Ballydoyle's Kegs & Eggs Irish buffet starting at 8 a.m. at both locations. They're not taking reservations, so get there early to reserve your spot for a day full of Irish entertainment, which includes the Oswego Fire Pipes & Drums Corp., the McNulty Irish Dancers, The Whiskey Brothers, American Rogues, Bagpiper Mike Courney, Knights of Ballydoyle, Classical Blast in Kilts, Craic, Aiden O'Toole (Downers Grove only) and more. A $10 cover starts at noon at the Downers Grove location.
Blossom Cafe, 8349 W. Lawrence Ave., Norridge, (708) 453-5300, theblossomcafe.com/. Corned beef and cabbage and live music Friday and Saturday, March 16-17, will get you in the mood for St. Patrick's Day.
BubCity, 5441 Park Place, Rosemont, (847) 261-0399, bub-city.com/rosemont/. Doors open at 11 a.m. Saturday for St. Paddy's Day specials such as $8 Jameson, $6 Guinness, green egg sandwiches and more.
Claddagh Irish Pub & Restaurant, 1704 Commons Drive, Geneva, (630) 208-0337, claddaghirishpubs.com/geneva/. Celebrate St. Patrick's Day eve Friday with Irish tunes from Sprig O' Mint and Irish dancers from the Rebecca McCarthy School of Dance at 7 p.m. Return early on Saturday for Kegs & Eggs starting at 9 a.m. Festivities continue throughout the day with music from the Celtic Sounds, February Sky and The Bare Hambones. The Irish dancers will be back, too, and DJ Mindmonic will be spinning in between sets. Hangover Sunday starts with brunch at 11 a.m. Stick around for more music from Peter and Katie Whalen at 3 p.m. and Irish dancers at 4 p.m.
Durty Nellie's, 180 N. Smith St., Palatine, (847) 358-9150 or durtynellies.com/. Pat McCurdy and Mungion get the St. Patrick's Day party started early at 7 p.m. Friday, March 16. Stop by after the St. Patrick's Day parade in Palatine on Saturday to dine on Irish food while watching live entertainment from One of the Girls, Avondale Ramblers, Classical Blast, the Trinity Irish Dancers and bagpipers. A '90s dance party with Fool House and Hello Weekend closes out the night starting at 9 p.m. The 21-and-older show is $5.
Finn McCool's Irish Sports Pub, 1941 E. Algonquin Road, Schaumburg, (847) 303-5100; 702 N. River Road, Mount Prospect, (847) 298-7200; 72 N. Williams St. Crystal Lake, (815) 356-1155. finnmccoolschicago.com/.
• Party from noon until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, March 16-17, at Finn McCool's in Schaumburg. Karma Committee starts things off at 7:30 p.m., followed by headliners 7th heaven at 10 p.m. Friday. On Saturday, The Gingers start at 5 p.m., C-Factor takes over at 7:30 p.m. and Libido Funk Circus rouses the crowd at 10 p.m. Plus, there's more: a DJ emcee, bagpipers, Irish dancers, beer and corned beef specials, St. Patrick's beads, and other prizes and giveaways. Admission is $10, based on space availability.
• Finn McCool's in Mount Prospect will be serving up green beer, corned beef sandwiches, bagpipers and more from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday, March 17.
• The Shake Your Shamrocks St. Pat's Party at Finn McCool's in Crystal Lake gets the party started at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 17. Green beer, bagpipers, Irish dancers and corned beef sandwiches: What more could you ask for? The DJ will be playing dance tunes until 2 a.m.
Johnny's Kitchen & Tap, 1740 Milwaukee Ave., Glenview, (847) 699-9999. The St. Patrick's celebration includes a corned beef and cabbage dinner for $16.95 and live music. Andrew Blendermann headlines Friday and Bryan Harrell plays at 5 p.m. and The Yurty Aherns perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
The Kerry Piper, 7900 Joliet Road, Willowbrook, (630) 325-3732 or kerrypiper.com/. Make a weekend of St. Patrick's Day at Kerry Piper's three-day fest, which takes place inside the restaurant and under a tent outside Friday through Sunday, March 16-18. Festivities include a St. Baldrick's head-shaving event, special guest bartenders, live bands and more. Dine on classic Irish dishes and drinks while enjoying performances from American English, Hi Infidelity, Cirrus Falcon, Mulhearn Irish Dancers, Whiskey Brothers, Emerald Society Bagpipers, St. Stephen's Green, Maggie Speaks, Infinity and more.
McBride's North Pub & Grille, 2340 S. Eola Road, Aurora, (630) 692-9606, mcbridespubandgrille.com/. On Saturday, March 17, McBride's will be serving a corned beef and cabbage dinner, and entertainment will include Irish dancers and bagpipers. Specials include $12 domestic buckets, $4 Jameson, $5 car bombs, $3 Guinness and $2 green beer.
McGonigal's Pub, 105 S. Cook St., Barrington, (847) 277-7400, mcgonigalspub.com/events/celticfest.html. Get in the Irish spirit at the 8th Annual Barrington Celtic Fest Friday and Saturday, March 16-17, in McGonigal's Pub and on Park Avenue. The heated festival tent will be home to live music, local merchants and entertainment including Irish dancers, bagpipers, live music, special guests, and Irish food and beverages. The free fest runs from 10 a.m. to midnight Friday and 9:30 a.m. to midnight Saturday. Note: The fest is 21 and older after 8 p.m. both days.
McNally's Irish Pub, 109 W. Main St., St. Charles, (630) 513-6300, mcnallyspub.com/. Head over to McNally's on Friday, March 16, for O'Hara's samples and giveaways from 6 to 8 p.m. and live music from Red Pop Fury at 8 p.m. Get there early on Saturday for mass music from Gavin Coyle at 8 a.m. Afterward, nosh on breakfast featuring McNally's new menu. The Flannery School of Irish Dance performs at 1 p.m., with live music from Scramble from 2 to 5 p.m. Throughout the day, there will be bagpipers, face painting and giveaways. The plaza outside McNally's will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., weather-permitting.
Mickey Finn's Brewery, 345 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville, (847) 362-6688, mickeyfinnsbrewery.com/. Mickey Finn's gets the party started really early, as in 7:30 a.m. Friday, March 16, for the 14th Annual St. Patrick's live broadcast and party, hosted by 95 WIIL Rock and the Tom & Emily Morning Show. Come back at 10 p.m. to hear Fool House. Saturday features music from Fitz & Celts at 6 p.m. and Hearthfire at 9:30 p.m. Irish beers and cocktails, corned beef and cabbage, fish and chips and Shepherd's pie will be served both days.
Muldoon's Irish Pub, 133 W. Front St., Wheaton, (630) 668-8866, muldoonswheaton.com/. Celebrate St. Patrick's Day in style from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday with classic Irish drinks and bites, plus special performances by local bagpipers, Irish dancers, The Bill Nelson and the Blarney Stone Killers, Parting Glass Irish Trio and DJ Tony Trixx.
O'Hare's Pub, 207 S. Main St., Bartlett, (630) 372-8878, oharespub.com/. Trillium kicks off St. Patrick's Eve Friday with Irish tunes from 6 to 10 p.m. Can't make it Friday? Trillium will entertain from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, too. Then join the Irish Sing Along from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. and watch Irish dancers from The Flannery School of Dance perform from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Head out back for the party in the tent where you can sip on green beer and dance the night away from 7 to 11 p.m.
Old Town Pour House, 1703 Freedom Drive, Naperville, (630) 448-6020, and 8 Oak Brook Center, Oak Brook, (630) 601-1440 or oldtownpourhouse.com/. Irish specials are flowing at Old Town Pour House now through Monday, March 19. Of note are the corned beef Reuben, shepherd's pie and corned beef poutine. Catch a March Madness game or two this weekend while celebrating St. Patrick's Day. Nosh on pretzel bites, wings, nachos and more while cheering on your teams, now through April 2.
O'Malley's Pub & Eatery, 701 Hill Ave., Aurora, (630) 898-8700, omalleysaurora.com/. Get ready to laugh with the City of Lights comedy show featuring Adam Burke from 8 to 10 p.m. Friday, March 16, before DJ Rogue takes over the mic at 10 p.m. Enjoy party favors and giveaways aplenty. What better way to start St. Patrick's Day than with a Kegs & Eggs Irish breakfast at 8 a.m. Saturday? The fun continues with the McNulty Irish Dancers at noon, acoustic music from Robert Krause at 3 p.m., face painting at 4:30, Irish bagpipers at 6 and the After 5 band at 9:30. Oh, and don't forget about the green beer, $4 Guinness pints, $5 Irish Car Bombs and food specials like corned beef and cabbage, Irish nachos, shepherd's pie and more.
O'Toole's, 412 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville, (847) 984-2599, and Timothy O'Toole's Pub, 5572 Grand Ave., (847) 249-0800, Gurnee, timothyotooles.com/. Open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday, St. Patrick's Day festivities at both locations have entertainment including bagpipers in the afternoon and a DJ at 8 p.m. Plus, an Irish-inspired menu features Chef Corey's corned beef and cabbage, a classic Reuben, Guinness beef stew, and pub fish and chips accompanied by Guinness Blacklist and Jameson Irish whiskey. Keep an eye for the leprechaun at the Gurnee location.
Peggy Kinnane's Irish Restaurant & Pub, 8 N. Vail Ave., Arlington Heights, (847) 577-7733, peggykinnanes.com/. Make a weekend of St. Patrick's Day at Peggy Kinnane's. Chow down on Irish specialties including the corned beef and cabbage dinner, shepherd's pie, Reuben sandwich and more. On Friday, the Hogan Irish Dancers will perform and there will be Slane Irish whiskey tastings and giveaways from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Come back early Saturday to watch 6 Nations rugby starting at 9:45 a.m. Stick around to see performances by the Hogan Irish Dancers and the Guinness Bagpipers (after 4 p.m.) and hear music from Sean and Charlie from 4 to 11 p.m. $5 cover.
Quigley's Irish Pub, 43 E. Jefferson Ave., Naperville, (630) 428-4774, quigleysirishpub.com/. In addition to traditional Irish food and drinks, Quigley's fetes St. Patrick's Day with Finger on the Trigger playing from noon to 4 p.m. and The Creeky Timbers starting at 7 p.m. Saturday. The cover is $5. No one under 21 allowed entry.
Real Time Sports, 1120 W. Devon Ave., Elk Grove Village, (847) 534-5000, realtimesportsbar.com/. Start off your weekend with a pre-St. Patrick's Day party from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Friday, March 16. DJ All Inn will be spinning tunes all night. Grab your green gear and head back to Real Time Saturday for their St. Patrick's Day celebration that includes green beer and an all-you-can-eat buffet from 3 to 8 p.m. It costs $16.95.
Sam's of Arlington, 1863 W. Central Road, Arlington Heights, (847) 577-1800, samsofarlington.com/. Sam's is serving corned beef and cabbage every day through Sunday, March 18.