St. Patrick’s Day brings beer and good cheer |

St. Patrick’s Day brings beer and good cheer

Gregory Crofton
Gregory Crofton/Tahoe Daily Tribune/ Leona Perry-Lennon, co-owner of Mulligan's Irish Pub and Restaurant in South Lake Tahoe, checks on her Guinness tap Wednesday in preparation for today, St. Patrick's Day.

In Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day the stores and schools close, but the pubs and hotels stay open.

In America, the day isn’t an official holiday. Most everyone has to go to work or school before they decide to: stay home and watch television; stay home and cook corned beef and cabbage; or go out, start drinking and shoulder the burden of a hangover the next day.

“It’s the most fun day,” said Leona Perry-Lennon, who co-owns Mulligan’s Irish Pub & Restaurant with her husband. She moved from Dublin to South Lake Tahoe 11 years ago. “People are always good-humored on Patrick’s Day.”

Other than going to church in the morning, and eating and drinking the rest of the day, the holiday in Ireland can be a chance to take a break from Lent. For some, Lent means 40 days without meat or sweets in preparation for Easter. That’s what can make the holiday’s tradition meal, corned beef and cabbage, a little more special.

“It’s not a cheap dish. It’s a holiday meal,” Perry-Lennon said. “People just enjoy it. And it’s a different cut of meat (over there), a more lean cut.”

Bar and restaurant owners like Perry-Lennon will be in charge of cooking corned beef today as well as other Irish cuisine like cottage pie – a mix of ground beef, onions, parsley, thyme, carrots and mashed potatoes.

They will also be in charge of providing gallons of Guinness and Irish whisky to their customers. Mulligan’s has 36 kegs – mostly of Guinness, Harp and Budweiser – on order to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

A packed house is the norm for Mulligan’s on St. Patrick’s night. About eight bartenders will serve drinks in the middle of live music and Irish dancing. The business, located inside Super 8 Motel near Ski Run Boulevard, bills itself as “Lake Tahoe’s Only Irish Pub & Restaurant.”

“Grumpy people who don’t like crowds don’t come out,” said Perry-Lennon, whose blue eyes, dark hair and slight brogue are signs of her heritage. “People are more open, more friendly … whatever happens they’ll go for it.”

Mulligan’s is certainly not the only place in town to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The Tudor Pub, which is just down the highway on Fremont Avenue, will serve up green beer, corned beef and Guinness.

Sara Jaurequi, general manager of the pub and the restaurant downstairs, Dory’s Oar, said St. Patrick’s Day is probably their third busiest night of the year behind Christmas and New Year’s.

“People start drinking then do some eating and continue drinking,” Jaurequi said. “In the U.S., I think it’s just an excuse to drink and celebrate.”

Dee-Dee Thompson, an employee at Dory’s Oar, said she plans to do a little drinking, but her primary goal is to stay home and cook a good meal.

“It’s my day off,” Thompson said. “I’ll be cooking corned beef and cabbage at home. I do that every year.”

– Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or by e-mail at

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