Sunday, March 22, 2009

Drink for the Community's Sake

Every St. Patrick's Day, Salem residents gather at local bar and McMenamin's chain called Boon's Treasury, who celebrate in style by wearing green, eating traditional Irish fair, clapping along to live music, oh and don't forget McMenamin's Irish stout! When I spoke on the phone to longtime employee named Sam, he said that for as long as he could remember, they've always celebrated the day.
Lynnette Martino and Valerie Karnes raise their glasses to St. Patty! Lynnette is drinking the Irish Stout and Valerie is drinking McMenamin's Ruby Ale.

So, even though I had a paper due Tuesday night at midnight, and a chemistry final in the morning I decided to go take a look for myself to see what it was all about.

The night's lineup included Oregon Defense Force Pipeband who have been playing the pipe's since 1971 according to the band's website, accompanied by an Irish Dancer, which started around 8:15 in the evening playing for a half hour.

video

Don't know the lyric's to Irish Eyes are Smiling? Don't worry, the Oregon Defense Force Pipeband encourages audiences to sing-along with lyrics written on some tagboard.


Traditional food included Corn Beef Cabbage and Irish Reuben's served alongside McMenamin's Irish Stout. Now I am a vegetarian so I didn't try the grubs, but I can testify that the Irish stout is a mighty tasty beer, not too dark or hoppy in flavor for those who don't enjoy Guinness, but like a flavorful beer.


For many restaurants and businesses, celebratory nights on holidays are often the most anticipated, especially in our economy. Continuing my phone interview with Sam, he said that the economy hadn't hit them too hard, only having to lay-off a less than part time employee; saying that nights like this, are their biggest money making nights of the year and help reduce the chance of further layoffs.

For Salem residents like myself, celebrating St. Patrick's Day at McMenamin's gives us a chance to set aside stresses like college finals, and to pretend we're Irish for the night.


photo /video credits: © Becca Martino 2009.

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