St. Patrick's Day 2017
Pearl River, New York
Southbound Bar and Grill
It was a very rare Friday night, indeed. At least it was for me. First, I had the evening off. Normally, I work on Friday nights, but my schedule was switched to 8 a.m.-4 p.m. It also happened to be St. Patrick's Day and my good friends, Loren Korevec and Tim O'Donaghue, were playing with their band, The Liffey Mud, at a nice little B and G in the heart of the most Irish enclave in Rockland County, NY; Pearl River. The Southbound Bar and Grill is a really local place next to the railroad tracks and in the old train station. If you didn't know it was there, you might walk right by it. Because of this, the crowd would not be overwhelmed by the young amateurs who would be looking to prove their drinking prowess (or, LACK of it) at the more popular bars in town. The music was scheduled to begin at 7.
It couldn't be more perfect.
I decided to get there around 8. This would give the band a chance to get a little "lubed up", in every sense of the word. I parked nearby and walked through the front door to find the boys in good form and the crowd lively and appreciative of the music. Wading through a small mob at the bar, I found a gap and got the bartenders attention. A small women with wavy, strawberry-blonde hair, was alone behind the bar. Despite the fact that it was busy, she seemed to be doing just fine on her own and I didn't have to wait long for her to come over. I thought that I detected a slight Irish brogue when she asked:
What'll it be, lad?
Raising my voice above the din, I replied: What draft beers are you pouring?
Of course, we have Guinness.
I said: Well, I know that it's St. Paddy's Day and all, but Guinness and I are not on speaking terms.
I spared her the gory details of how one St. Patrick's day, a LONG time ago, I was one of those bold, young men trying to prove my drinking prowess (or, LACK of it) like the ones I would be avoiding that evening. I did so by attempting to consume as much Guinness as I possible could at the now defunct Glocca Mora Pub on Manhattan's East Side. I drank so much of it that I was eventually forced to worship the Great Porcelain God for payment. It was so bad that, to this very day, I have trouble simply smelling Guinness. Even during my visit to the temple for Irish beer, the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, I couldn't drink it (now, consuming the whiskey they make is a story for another day).
That's too bad, lad. We also have Heineken, she replied.
I'll have one of those, thanks.
She poured me a long, cold one. I paid and tipped her and turned back to the music which was now in full swing. I stayed for one more round and them made my way home by 10 pm.
Yes, my friends, it was a very mature St. Patrick's Day.