NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — Not long ago, some in the Hub City celebrated a wonderful mutation of St. Paddy’s Day on the 17th of each month. Whether it was April or December, bagpipes were never too far away.
We owed the party to McCormick’s Pub, a crusty but cozy dive bar near Somerset Street’s intersection with Louis. Its owners slashed Irish drink prices and cooked corned beef, blasting songs by The Pogues. We regulars looked forward to the chance to raise a holiday pint in defiance of the calendar.
That tradition ended in 2011 when McCormick’s closed for good. But its passing makes tomorrow, the actual St. Patrick’s Day, all the more special.
And there are plenty of specials on tap for TAPinto readers tomorrow in New Brunswick. Check out the deals and gimmicks that are tempting enough to pull us out of the newsroom and onto barstools in these 11 taverns.
1) Kelly’s Korner, 75 Morrell St.
One of New Brunswick’s beloved neighborhood institutions, Kelly’s Korner opens early—really early—tomorrow. Beginning at 6 a.m., the pub will serve $4.50 pints of Guinness, Guinness Blonde and Smithwicks.
It’s also dishing up free corned beef and cabbage to drinkers from noon until 6 p.m. Even better, Somerset County bagpipers are due to play Irish music in the afternoon.
2) Ale ’N ‘Wich, 246 Hamilton St.
This indie hangout opens at 4:30 p.m. with $4 pints of Guinness, $3.75 shots of Jameson and Tullamore Dew and $5 Irish car bombs. Workers plan to give away plenty of free Irish gear while supplies last.
3) Mike’s Courtside Sports Bar & Grill, 1 Elm Row
In a perfect location for the downtown business crowd, Mike’s Courtside is a virtual pot of gold. Pints of green Killian’s Irish Red beer go for $4 and Guinness for $5. Bartenders will also mix a number of $8 drinks, from the Paddy bomb—made with Stoli vodka, Blue Curacao and Red Bull—to a Belfast Boom.
You won’t go hungry here. Along with its newly-expanded menu, the kitchen will serve reuben balls, Irish spring rolls, corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie and more.
4) Olive Branch, 37 Bartlett St.
This bar might be most popular among neighboring Rutgers students, but its St. Paddy’s Day deals are welcome by all. Once the doors swing open at 3 p.m., green beer will sell for $2 a pop and Jameson shots for $5.
Patrons may also bite into corned beef and cabbage sandwiches. Plus, free shirts will be available for a limited amount of time.
5) Patrick’s Pub, 309 Somerset St.
This place is one of New Brunswick’s best-kept secrets—a dark, cheap dive that’s just a bit too far for most college students. The St. Paddy’s Day crowd will enjoy free corned beef and cabbage come 4 p.m. tomorrow. And while the pub might not have holiday drink specials, Budweisers go for $1.75 every day—and isn’t that enough?
6) Tumulty’s Pub, 361 George St.
It might look a bit different than it once did, but the downtown Irish staple is going hard this holiday, with lamb stew, Guinness stew, bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie and corned beef and cabbage available all day.
Drinkers won’t find any specials here, but they will find a lot of Guinness. What’s more, a band called Lesser Seamus is scheduled to play Irish music from 8:30 p.m. until closing time at the downstairs bar. Doors open at 11:30 a.m.
7) The Dillinger Room, 338 George St.
This trendy watering hole is celebrating with Tullamore Dew—but in a way that’s unique to The Dillinger. Starting at noon, bartenders will make a handful of speciality cocktails, including The Ring of Kerry—Tully, absinthe, some India pale ale and lemon—and Irish coffees, boilermakers, and an interesting one called Cameron’s Kick.
For you beer drinkers, the bar just put an Asbury Park stout on tap. Guinness will also be on hand.
8) The Golden Rail Irish Pub, 66 Easton Ave.
Another iconic Rutgers bar, The Golden Rail opens at 5 p.m. with deals like $5 Bushmills bombs, $3 pints of green beer and $7 Irish car bombs. Giveaways start flying at 10 p.m., and a DJ is slated to play Irish and house music.
9) Corner Tavern, 111 Somerset St.
If you want to get an early jump on the celebration, this is your place. From today through Sunday, the CT is pushing 13 specialty drinks, all with a bit of Irish in them. Among them are $7 bombs and $6 Irish Dreams—a minty drink—and $7 shots featuring Jameson and Bailey’s.
As always, doors open at 3 p.m. tomorrow and noon on the weekend.
10) Garden State Ale House, 378 George St.
Here’s another prime spot to fill your belly. Come 11:30 a.m. tomorrow, the Ale House will pour pints of Guinness, shots of Jameson and bombs for $5 each. Or be a bit more adventurous and spend that $5 on an Irish breakfast shot, which is a mixture of Jameson and butterscotch liqueur, chased with orange juice and a slice of bacon.
The holiday menu includes corned beef and cabbage, a corned beef reuben and bangers and mash. A DJ will take over at 10 p.m. to play dance music with an Irish flair. And be sure to pick up Jameson and Coors Light swag while supplies last.
11) Olde Queens Tavern, 108 Easton Ave.
While the regular happy hour—$2.50 well drinks and $1 mini-Bud Lights—will be in place, this Rutgers bar will celebrate St. Paddy’s Day come nightfall. Jameson shots will cost $5 a piece—a good nightcap if there ever was one.
Be sure to tell your bartender that TAPinto New Brunswick sent you. If that doesn’t get you a free pint, what will?
And be safe out there.