St. Patrick’s Day holiday — food and fun along Fairfax Avenue

| March 3, 2022 | 0 Comments

TOM BERGIN’S on Fairfax Avenue is still in business, a neighborhood fixture since 1936 that will be especially busy on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day.

According to United States Census Bureau data released in 2021, only 3.6 percent of the population of Los Angeles County claim Irish ancestry, and yet a stroll along Fairfax Avenue on March 17 proves that everyone is a wee bit Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.

Tom Bergin’s, an Irish pub, is one of the oldest restaurants in Los Angeles and a popular St. Patrick’s Day watering hole. Lawyer Tom Bergin opened The Old Horseshoe Tavern, as it was originally named, on Wilshire Boulevard in 1936. It has been operating under various names and owners in its current Fairfax Avenue location since 1948.

The Irish holiday traditionally attracts thousands of patrons to Bergin’s indoor / outdoor festivities, but even with the easing of masking restrictions, Omicron is still in the air. Tom Bergin’s and all the places bracing for the beer-soaked onslaught weren’t certain of their crowd capacity policies as of press time, but they all plan to follow whatever protocols the county recommends.

St. Patrick’s Day is an all-day affair at Tom Bergin’s, beginning with full Irish breakfast at 6 a.m. and continuing until midnight with bagpipes, Irish bands, heaping plates of corned beef and cabbage, Reuben sandwiches and lots of Guinness Stout and Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey fueling the fun. 

Tom Bergin’s. 840 S. Fairfax Ave. 323-936-7151.

If you want a break between beers, drop by the Petersen Automotive Museum. From St. Patrick’s Day through Sun., March 20, enjoy the museum’s “Hoods Up!” event: Selected cars will have their hoods open so visitors can admire the inner workings of the vehicles.

Soon the museum will be ready to announce the arrival of a new restaurant for the space vacated by Drago Ristorante. The new operator is aiming to open by the end of April and will feature elevated family-oriented dining with an accessible price point.

Petersen Automotive Museum. 6060 Wilshire Blvd. 323-931-2277.

Molly Malone’s, which has been in the same family for 50 years, is another traditional Irish bar. It presents live music all year, but on St. Patrick’s Day, bagpipers, Irish bands and possibly Irish step dancers will entertain patrons from 3:30 p.m. until 2 a.m. They’ll welcome revelers as early as 6 a.m. for a large selection of Irish beers and whiskeys. Irish stew will be a featured menu item, along with classic corned beef, cabbage and potatoes.

Molly Malone’s. 575 S. Fairfax Ave. 323-935-1577.

Before seeking additional corned beef and brew, note that the former Farmer’s Daughter Hotel is under new ownership and has been completely renovated into the Short Stories Hotel. Gone are the kitschy plaids and ruffles, replaced by calming colors, upscale linens and a chef-driven restaurant.

Those tired of St. Paddy’s Day food and overindulgences could try the hotel’s Short Stories Restaurant, helmed by three-time James Beard Award-nominated chef Ricardo Zarate. Those who’ve dined at Rosaliné, his terrific Melrose Avenue eatery, are familiar with Zarate’s mash-up of Japanese-tinged Peruvian dishes.

Short Stories Hotel. 115 S. Fairfax Ave. 323-937-3930.

Directly across the street from the hotel, the Original Farmers Market will offer some Erin go braugh of its own. Although not confirmed, the market is hoping to have strolling musicians and stationary Irish bands throughout the common areas. An array of Irish beer will be poured at Bar 326 and E.B.’s Beer and Wine.

Establishments in the Original Farmers Market which will be celebrating St. Patricks Day include the following:

Magee’s Kitchen is the oldest food service in the market, having set up a stall in 1934 to feed the farmers selling their wares out of carts in an otherwise empty field. Corned beef is always on Magee’s menu, but on March 17 the corned beef, cabbage and potatoes platter will be offered at a special price. 

Du-Par’s Restaurant and Bakery will also offer that popular corned beef combo.

Market Tavern is going all-out with shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash and Irish brews. There will be music from 5 to 10 p.m., including D.J. Dandy Randy and the band Celtic Camerata. Owner and musician Gary Twinn might perform, as well.

Most canine companions would agree that Fido deserves to be included in the fun, and The Dog Bakery will have Irish-themed cookies for pooches.

Those wishing to bring some Irish luck home can purchase Shamrock stickers at Sticker Planet, a Celtic music T-shirt from Sporte Fashion or an array of home decorations from Cost Plus World Market, including leprechaun table runners, beaded four-leaf clover placemats and shamrock and sour cream potato chips, made with real shamrock extract!

The Original Farmers Market. 6333 W. Third Street. 323-933-9211.

On St. Patrick’s Day raise a glass and a shamrock chip to the Emerald Isle and toast with this Irish saying: May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow / And may trouble avoid you wherever you go.

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Category: Entertainment

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