St. Patrick Daze

Ditching work and heading downtown March 17? After the parade, check out these intoxicating Irish spots sure to be awash in emerald-clad revelers.

Chicago may get all the headlines, but Cleveland has all the heart. And we don't need to dye the Cuyahoga River green to embrace St. Patrick's Day as that time each year when people aren't ashamed to admit they're taking the day off to tip a few beers.

This year's 138th St. Patrick's Day parade will step off at Euclid Avenue and East 22nd Street just after 1 p.m. Afterward, paradegoers will fan out through the city in search of grub and suds.

And though there are plenty of local bars with a Guinness tap, why not spend your afternoon at a place that gives you a taste of the Emerald Isle rather than the air of a Notre Dame tailgate party? All you have to do is track down that green derby and slide the phone number of a cab company into your wallet, because we've done your homework for you.

Flannery's Pub
323 Prospect St., Cleveland
(216) 781-7782
Atmosphere: The Gateway neighborhood's spacious Irish spot, Flannery's is home to a huge wooden bar just inside the front door and a multiroom layout that can seat plenty of St. Paddy's Day partiers. A stage plays host to a steady lineup of musical acts (Irish and otherwise), though the pub's daily backing track is rock 'n' roll.
Pint of Guinness: $4.50
From the Menu: The hearty-with-a-capital-H bowl of Irish stew ($9.95) — filled with huge hunks of potatoes, carrots and celery — is the perfect antidote for a cold day. Other Irish favorites on the menu include shepherd's pie ($9.95) and fish and chips ($9.95).
Distance from Public Square: 0.34 miles

The Harp
4408 Detroit Ave., Cleveland
(216) 939-0200
Atmosphere: The light wood interior creates a warm and inviting ambiance (as does the stone fireplace). It replicates the feel of pubs of the homeland, but trades the traditionally dim interior for windows that offer daytime light and nighttime views.
Pint of Guinness: $4.50
From the Menu: One word: boxty. Look for the "Irish Fare" section of The Harp's menu to find various versions of this delicious potato pancake-based dish. We scooped up the corned beef boxty ($11.95), but salmon ($13.95), vegetarian ($10.95) and steak ($12.95) options are also available.
Distance from Public Square: 1.49 miles

Public House
17219 Lorain Ave., Cleveland
(216) 252-6608
Atmosphere: A massive 2002 renovation injected an extra shot of Ireland into this longstanding West Park Irish-American pub. The interior is all dark wood and brick, while suspended televisions and glowing Budweiser signs remind you you're stateside.
Pint of Guinness: $4
From the Menu: Large Irish egg rolls (three for $3.95) — stuffed full with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and served with horseradish mayonnaise — appear alongside a solid lineup of sandwiches and standard Cleveland bar food: mozzarella sticks ($4.45), potato skins ($5.95), chicken fingers ($5.25) and pierogies ($5.45).
Distance from Public Square: 10.19 miles

Sullivan's Irish Pub & Restaurant
13368 Madison Ave., Lakewood
(216) 529-8969
Atmosphere: Just beyond the Cleveland border, but a must-see for those who bleed green. A stone archway, a beautiful wood bar, a fireplace and bookshelves lend an authentic and cozy feel. An evening-only destination (opens weekdays at 5 p.m.), check out the mural of "Alice In Wonderland" characters downing pints of Guinness.
Pint of Guinness: $4
From the Menu: We like the Irish-American twist on the ubiquitous corned beef sandwich — thin slices of meat dressed with apple-onion relish and mayonnaise stuffed in a hoagie roll ($7.95). The Guinness lamb stew ($9.95) and apple-cider chicken ($10.95) entrees had our mouths watering as we read the menu.
Distance from Public Square: 8.06 miles

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