By Henry Shorr
Bars and breweries in Youngstown are gearing up for a bigger St. Patrick’s Day celebration this year. On Phelps Street, bars like West 34, Gringo’s, Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts and others are teaming up for an open-air St. Patrick’s Day festival. There will be tents, DJs, drink specials and plenty of green.
Will Royal, assistant general manager at West 34, is ready for things to start picking up again downtown now that spring is around the corner.
“It’s exciting. A lot of the restaurants down here are really anticipating it, especially with the winter season slowing things down,” Royal said.
He is eager for people to experience Phelps Street nightlife since it’s been blocked off for pedestrians.
“It should be fun, exciting and we’ll see a lot of new faces, bring a lot of people down here and give everyone a chance to experience something new downtown,” Royal said. “Especially with Phelps being what it is and then COVID happening and people not being able to enjoy open alcohol and things like that on Phelps Street. Now, for us to be able to give that to them, it’s a big deal.”
The Federal will also be teaming with Whistle and Keg for Shamrock the Block on March 17 and 18. Federal Street will be blocked off, there will be a large tent featuring live music throughout the event on both days.
At Noble Creature, general manager Jasmyn Iwanejko is excited to unveil the special St. Patrick’s Day beer brewed for the occasion.
“We brewed a brand-new beer that’s a dry Irish stout, and we’re really excited about it because we tried to brew it very traditionally in recipe and technique to how they would brew it in Ireland,” Iwanejko said.
She is very proud of this particular brew because the staff worked so hard to follow original Irish methods.
“We’re taking a very tiny bit of our barrel-aged beers and blending it into the dry Irish stout to somewhat mimic that tang that a Guinness has with that traditional method,” she said.
On top of that, Noble Creature will be installing a nitro tap for the first time to make sure that authenticity is preserved.
Iwanejko remarked that, as a brewery, it’s definitely most excited about the beer, but it has other fun planned for the holiday as well. It will have live music on Friday night, featuring Dave Lynn and Caitlin Hedge, as well as Irish food from their scratch kitchen all weekend.
For folks looking to celebrate the holiday but don’t feel the urge to do so at a bar, the Mahoning Valley St. Patrick’s Day parade will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 13 on Market Street.
However Penguins decide to celebrate the holiday, remember to do so safely and responsibly.