Maybe you like crowds that scream a lot and spill beer on you, and waiting in line just to get in to a bar to drink. We don’t. Perhaps we’re just getting old. In any event, the amateur hour that is St. Patrick’s Day is upon us, and while we don’t mean to be spoilsports, we do feel that a few words of caution are in order for those who are contemplating some bar-crawling tomorrow. The town is full of bars, Irish bars even, and we’d like to mention a few that you should probably avoid at all costs on this very special holiday centered around funny hats and marathon drinking.
1. Johnny Foley’s - We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: This Union Square watering hole, while old and quite popular as Irish bars go, will be the shitshow of shitshows tomorrow, made all the worse for the holiday falling on a Saturday this year. There will be a line around the block, for some ungodly reason, despite there being many other bars to choose from. Beware.
2. The Irish Bank - Also for reasons of being so close to Union Square, and for the fact that “Irish” is in the name, this bar is going to draw hordes of East Bay folk and everyone else from the surrounding region.
3. Mad Dog In the Fog - A go-to spot for everyone near the Lower Haight, and you can bet this place is going to mobbed and not in a good way. Watch out for flying darts!
4. The Phoenix - Dear god. It’s right in the heart of the Mission. The least you can do is try to find a pub in some other neighborhood that’s not crowded every normal weeknight.
5. Monaghan’s - The Marina. On a Saturday. An Irish bar that will be most easily accessible both for those frat bros too lazy to leave the neighborhood and for those stumbling home to the Marina after drinking all day. Be very, very afraid.
For a potentially more adult time (though we can’t make any promises … it is a Saturday), might we recommend The Plough & Stars in the Richmond; Little Shamrock (807 Lincoln Way at 9th Avenue) in the Sunset, which we’ve heard called the second oldest bar in the city but cannot confirm that; Durty Nelly’s (Irving and 24th) because it’s way out in the Outer Sunset and there should be some attrition of the crowds for that reason alone; and The Liberties (Guerrero and 22nd), which while being in the Mission is still enough off the beaten trail of Valencia to possibly be safe.