New Jersey Date Night is a series on NJ Flavor by relationship writer Craig Rogers.

Everyone has a St. Patrick’s Day story. Maybe yours involves being stuck in parade traffic with your date and just one bottle of water, or maybe it was being stuck in a pub with just your sixth glass of green beer. If St. Patrick’s Day can leave behind so many great stories, then it only makes sense that it’s the perfect day to create an epic date. From Jameson’s to corned beef and cabbage, the ingredients are in place for a great time with your love. Knowing the ins and outs of your St. Patrick’s Day options will guarantee a fantastic date that will leave others green with envy.

Get ready for a Jersey Date Night that will leave you and your date seeing shamrocks!

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If you and your date want to get the party started as early as possible, Lazy Lanigans in Hackensack is right there with you. Festivities begin at 11a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day with Irish music, bagpipers and Irish step dancers. Not only is the beer flowing in this top-rated neighborhood pub, but also their special menu of Irish specialties will leave you fully understanding the luck of the Irish. From corned beef and cabbage to Guinness beef stew, your taste buds will be blown away faster than facing a headwind on the Cliffs of Moher. Check out their Shepherd’s Pie — you and your date will be impressed. 

You might want to spend the weekend because their St. Patrick’s celebration begins on Friday. For more information on Lazy Lanigans, visit

Going on the Gargle

When it comes to going out for a beer, you’ll find 25 beers on tap at Egan & Sons in Montclair. From Irish favorites like Guinness and Harp’s to American IPAs, you’re sure to find a pint or two to your liking. You and your date will also have quite a choice to make when it comes to their pub fair. Irish favorites include bangers and mash (house made Irish sausage with Yukon gold mashed potatoes in Guinness onion gravy) and cottage pie (Angus beef with root vegetables in a rich brown gravy with a golden mashed potato crust). Their burgers are amazing, and nothing says St. Patrick’s Day like the Tipparary Burger (burger with Irish rasher bacon, crumbled bleu cheese and Ballymaloe tomato chutney). 

The party starts at 11 a.m. featuring Irish dancing, Irish music (bring your instrument and join in!) and you’ll enjoy The Counterfeiters from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.  For more information on Egan & Sons, visit

Erin Go Reuben

If you’re looking for a St. Patrick’s Day date that hits all your senses, look no further than Kelly’s Tavern in Neptune. With 14 beers on tap, you won’t go thirsty, and the menu is sure to leave you full and content as a leprechaun with two pots of gold.  If Reubens are your thing, theirs is a must and luckily they come in both mini and large options. Other Irish favorites include Sligo (sliced turkey, cranberry sauce, tomato and melted Swiss on white bread) and you won’t want to miss the Bailey’s cheesecake for dessert.

Bagpipers will rule the weekend at Kelly’s, with the music starting Friday and Saturday (noon – 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.) and Sunday starting at 7 a.m.!  For more information on Kelly’s Tavern, visit

Finding That Pot of Gold

When it comes to neighborhood pubs with a strong tie to the past, Sheelen’s Crossing in Fanwood is a true benchmark. The Fanwood Train Station, built in 1874 and the oldest train station in Union County, is across the street from this pub, which is named for the bridge next to the station. 

Charles Sheelen, the namesake of the bridge, worked in the grocery store that served as a gathering place for Manhattan commuters. Today Sheelen’s Crossing serves in the same capacity — great food and drink on the easy for the community. Their St. Patrick’s Day festivities include a special outdoor bar, bagpipe players and Irish step dancing. 

When it comes to food, you’ll find your favorite pub fare plus their bistro will be serving Irish favorites in addition to their regular menu (the four-cheese Guinness Mac-n-Cheese is a must).

For more information about Sheelen’s Crossing, visit

Legend has it…

As we celebrate the “Wearing of the Green,” there’s a legendary thing to remember about the namesake of the day and how he relates to relationships. St. Patrick is credited for ridding Ireland of snakes.

Granted, some say there were no snakes in Ireland from the get go but, like relationships, snakes can suddenly make an unwanted appearance. For couples, snakes can come in the form of squabbles — perhaps some major and some frivolous. For singles, you might come across an online profile that looks perfect on paper but is rather reptilian in real life. It’s important to remember that if a snake finds its way into your relationship or your dating life, you’re just as strong and resilient as St. Patrick when it comes to showing that snake the door. You simply banish the snake, pour a fresh beer and take a bite of Shepherd’s Pie … and go about your lucky way.

You and your date can raise your steins of green beer and toast to that.

More New Jersey Date Night Ideas: Making Breakfast Hot Again

Craig Rogers is the guy who gets relationships write. Author of “The 49th Challenge,” Craig has written countless articles on dating, relationships and breakup recovery. To learn more about Craig,  visit

What’s your idea for a great New Jersey Date?  Tell Craig all about it at


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