Everyone turns a little Irish come March 17, and Fort Wayne isn't without plenty of ways for you to celebrate with all the other lads and lasses.
For starters, there's Flanagan's, where they've been counting down the days. Literally. Call the restaurant any day of the year, and you'll be told exactly how many days are left until St. Patrick's Day. Flanagan's has been celebrating the venerable Irish holiday for over 20 years, and they do so with the utmost enthusiasm. Doors will open at 10:30am on March 17, and their menu will feature traditional favorites corned beef & cabbage and Irish Stew. The festive atmosphere will get a boost from live bagpipers and a DJ for dancing your favorite jig in their outdoor heated tent.
Flanagan's Restaurant, 6525 Covington Road (behind Covington Plaza) (260) 432-6666
Tucked into the landscape just north of downtown, Deer Park Irish Pub pays homage to St. Patrick with a St. Patrick's Day Beer Tasting on Saturday, March 14, from 1pm-5pm. For a $5 entry fee, revelers will receive a commemorative tasting glass, with which to sample Irish, craft and import beers. There will also be Irish music and authentic Irish foods.
Deer Park Irish Pub, 1530 Leesburg Road (260) 432-8966
The luck of the Irish will be shining on JK O'Donnell's Irish Ale House in downtown Fort Wayne, with their traditional Irish food and libations. No green beer here! Standard menu items to enjoy this St. Patrick's Day include corned beef and cabbage, fish & chips, bangers and mash, Shepherd's Pie and Irish stew. Add some flair to your meal with scotch eggs, lamb pasty and delicious potato leek soup. And what better way to top off a St. Patrick's Day meal? Traditional Irish desserts like Banoffee and Bread Pudding. JK O'Donnell's will open at 10am on St. Patrick's Day, but the fun will ramp up at 4pm when they open their tent. A $5 cover charge will get you in (plus one free drink!) to enjoy music from the Pipe & Drum Brigade from the Fort Wayne Police Department, The Mighty McGuiggans and more. Please note that patrons must be 21 to enter the main bar area at JK O'Donnell's, but guests of all ages are welcome in the adjacent Belleek Hall until 7pm.
JK O'Donnell's Irish Ale House, 121 W. Wayne Street (260) 420-5563
Early risers on March 17 can head to The Tilted Kilt in Jefferson Pointe in southwest Fort Wayne. Doors open at 7am for a breakfast buffet, and they'll keep the festive Irish spirit alive all day long with entertainment from bagpipers, The O'Tooles and The Jug Huffers.
The Tilted Kilt, 4541 Illinois Road, (260) 459-3985
Finally, no St. Patrick's Day in Fort Wayne would be complete without mention of the local favorite, O'Sullivan's on West Main Street. Tradition packs the house year after year, as told by the line that snakes out the door and down the block. This could possibly be the pinnacle of the St. Patrick's Day festivities in Fort Wayne - but don't expect it to be about four-leaf clovers and finery. O's is solid shamrocks and shenanigans, and everyone should experience at least part of one St. Patrick's Day there.
O'Sullivan's, 1808 W. Main Street (260) 422-5896