In what had to be a difficult announcement to face, a temporarily shuttered Tom Bergin’s admits that it won’t be ready to open for Saint Patrick’s Day this year, the first time in 76 years that the bar won’t be serving the holiday crowd. This heavily hoofed Fairfax Irish bar, which pounds harder than Shane McGowan’s liver come every March 17th, has been undergoing renovations at the hands of new owners, Warner Ebbink and Dominick’s/Little Dom’s chef Brandan Boudet**. The owners explain the snafu over its holiday planning in a long letter to its loyal customers. Come take a look.
From Tom Bergin’s Tavern:
To all of our customers past, present and future:
Since we began our restoration of Tom Bergin’s in August, we have had one goal in mind - to position the business to last another 75 years. Although we’d hoped the renovations would only take one or two months, we quickly discovered it was going to take more than just paint, soap, and water to get the old girl ready for the next 75. Well, it seems we’ve finally started to turn the corner. We’re interviewing for staff and, instead of ordering roofing and cement, we are ordering plates & glasses. It’s all beginning to come together.
This brings us to March 17th. Tom Bergin’s has enjoyed sharing its Irish heritage on St. Patrick’s Day with the city of Los Angeles for 75 years. We hoped to host the 76th St. Patrick’s Day, but after weeks of debate, had to make the difficult decision that it will be for the greater good to remain closed on that holiest of days. This was not an easy decision. Throwing together a one day event is fraught with many variables that could leave a bad first impression, and that is not what we want.
We want everyone’s first impression of the revitalized Tom Bergin’s to be an exceptional one and we want it without any further delay. So we ask for your understanding and hope that when the tavern doors finally swing open, you’ll feel it was a decision well made.
Okay okay, so it’s not the end of the world…yet. We ourselves can hardly understand why people need so much company to drink themselves half to death in the first place. Fortunately for those who don’t want to drink a bottle of Bailey’s alone in their kitchen, there’s a shite-load of Irish bars ready to pick up the slack.
From Finn McCool’s upchucking co-ed bash on Santa Monica’s Main Street to Westside beer pubs like Daily Pint and Joxer Daly’s to Casey’s all-day whiskey session and parade in Downtown, this could be the year when the Tom Bergin’s crowd diversifies to lesser known corners. Maybe it’s time to try less famous pubs in town, like The Irish Times in Palms, Downtown’s fully loaded Dublin’s, or the dive-meets-pub party over at Van Nuys’ Ireland’s 32. Either way, as long as you drink something ‘til you’re green in the face, there’s no way you can be accused of lacking holiday spirit.
**The chef and owner’s first name has been corrected. We called him "Brendan" and totally blame our Irish half.