Two local Irish pubs hope for ultimate St. Patrick’s Day experience

Posted By: Lauren Fabrizi

Bryan McFarland has been in the food business for a long time. In September, he opened up McFarland and Son’s, an Irish pub in the Haymarket District. It’s been a dream of his for many years.

With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, McFarland wants to do it big.

“You go to Chicago or New York or any of those places, and they have huge St. Patrick’s Days,” McFarland said.

To make that happen here in Lincoln, P Street from 7th to 8th will be barricaded off on March 17 from 9 a.m. until noon the next day. McFarland and Son’s is located along that area. Thanks to a special liquor license granted by the city, patrons at the pub can drink outside the venue underneath a tent. It would start where the sidewalk meets the pavement in front of the pub and end about halfway across the street. That area would be fenced off.

McKinney’s Irish Pub is located across the way. Co-owners said they’ve also been planning an event like this since the summer. That’s why they’re going before the city council Monday, hoping to be granted a similar liquor license.

“I think there’s a real opportunity for us to build this a lot bigger in the future,” Co-owner Joel Schossow said. “Maybe make it a two to three-day event, if the city’s on board for something like that.”

City Council member Carl Eskridge expects McKinney’s will be granted the license Monday. But he said the idea of a closed off celebration could be an inconvenience to other businesses in the area.

It’s something one of the senior workers at Scooter’s nearby is a little worried about.

“Anytime something like that happens, it’s certainly a hassle,” worker David Postier said. “It’s not going to bother us too much. Might see a drop in sales a little bit, but nothing too bad.”

Each of the pubs is bringing in live bands and other events on March 17.  People over 21 can take advantage of the outside tent areas starting around 4 p.m.