A drink precedes a story goes an old Irish proverb, which explains why on March 17th revelers will spend the day celebrating St. Guinness as much as St. Patrick, born Maewyn Succat, legendary for driving the snakes out of Ireland. Raise a pint at these San Francisco Irish pubs and commemorate St. Patrick’s Day.
Hours: Mon to Wed 2 p.m. – 2 a.m.; Thur to Fri 12 p.m. – 2 a.m.; Sat to Sun 7 a.m. – 2 a.m.
This lower Haight jewel, named after owner Brian Coyle’s father, continues in the longstanding tradition of neighborhood bars that once stood in its place. Formerly An Bodhran, Don’s Different Ducks and Jimmy’s West Point, Danny Coyle’s is the perfect setting to pound a pint of Guinness – Ireland’s most popular drink – and chill with friends.
The Chieftain Irish Pub & Restaurant
Hours: Mon to Fri 11:30 a.m. – 2 a.m.; Sat 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.; Sun 10 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Wakey wakey, eggs and bakey, or corned beef hash if you prefer. The Chieftain’s convenient downtown location pairs a mean brunch classic with spicy bloody mary’s or mimosas and is a wonderful appetite-buster, fueling those looking to get an early start before heading out to enjoy the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and street fair, located within walking distance to Civic Center.
The Phoenix Bar & Irish Gathering House
Hours: Mon to Fri 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.; Sat – Sun 9:30 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Looking for a well poured beer and a bit of conversation into the wee hours of the morning? Then The Phoenix is your destination. Find a seat in the main room or get cozy in the back where cherrywood detailing, photos of Ireland and quotes from Irish authors adorn the walls of this Mission hot spot. Enjoy a Harp lager or some Irish red Smithwick’s pouring from the tap and don’t forget the soda bread.
The Little Shamrock
Hours: Mon-Thu – 3 p.m. – 2 a.m.; Fri – 2 p.m. – 2 a.m.; Sat – Sun 1 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Established in 1893, The Little Shamrock has the distinction of being the Inner Sunset’s oldest pub, located directly across from Golden Gate Park. Kick back with one of 18 beers on tap while choosing from an assortment of games including backgammon, jenga, scrabble, chess, you name it. Warm yourself up with their fine selection of whiskey or famous irish coffee once the fog sets in.
Hours: Mon to Sun – 2 p.m. 2 a.m.
The Dovre Club holds a special place in the hearts of San Franciscans. This modest size Irish pub, formerly the Schooner Tavern and famously evicted from the Women’s Building in 1997, was established by Patrick “Paddy” Nolan 46 years ago and is now run by the McElhatton family. It’s where you go to grab a beer with friends or make new ones. If you’re looking to wear more green than spend it, head to Dovre.
Robyn Chelsea-Seifert is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. Her work has appeared in The Miami Herald, Creem, Hit Parader, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel and International Musician. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.