13 Metro Detroit Irish Pubs to Visit on St. Patrick’s Day and Beyond

A lucky 13 Irish pubs to stumble into (and out of) this St. Patrick’s Day weekend.
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Stock photograph by Amie Johnson, Unsplash

It’s that time of year again, when all of the U.S. dons green and tries out atrocious Irish accents. Fortunately, metro Detroit has plenty of spots for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day for every taste, from the die-hard green beer chuggers to the teetotalling toe-tappers just looking for some good fiddle music. Here are some of our favorites:

Detroit

The Gaelic League/ Irish American Club, Corktown

Contrary to rumor, you don’t have to be of Irish heritage to be an Irish American Club member. This social club, located on the parade route on Michigan Avenue, is open to all willing to pay their annual membership dues of $25. Massive tents and a marathon of music on St. Patrick’s Day are the highlight of the year.

Nancy Whiskey, Corktown

Just exactly what “Detroit’s oldest party” is may be tough to determine — until you show up at Nancy’s to a warm welcome of Tullamore Dew and cheers. This Corktown anchor has been welcoming guests since 1904.

Thomas Magee’s, Eastern Market

A relative newcomer, Thomas Magee’s distinguishes itself with a massive collection of Irish, Scotch, and American whiskey, as well as its early-morning watch parties for international soccer matches.

The Old Shillelagh, Greektown

Any given Saturday, this Greektown behemoth hosts hordes of partiers, and the game is upped every St. Paddy’s Day for a raucous and wild blowout. Live music all day and shot specials are not for the faint of heart.

The Suburbs

Dunleavy’s Food & Spirits, Allen Park

Owned and operated by brothers Tom and Brian Dunleavy for more than 50 years, the Downriver watering hole is a classic throwback
to the great neighborhood pubs of the last century.

O’Mara’s Restaurant, Berkley

As part of its longtime commitment to the Berkley community, O’Mara’s hosts frequent fundraisers and sponsors all kinds of youth
and sports groups. That’s just part of what has kept the large space on 12 Mile alive through devastating fires, construction, and decades of change.

Dick O’Dow’s, Birmingham

This capacious Birmingham watering hole is a favorite of locals and sports fans. It boasts an extensive craft beer list and hosts frequent watch parties for college sports and alumni clubs.

John Cowley & Sons, Farmington

With stunning Old World wood detailing and frequent music and dance performances, Cowley’s has been Farmington’s go-to gathering spot
for generations of local Irish families.

Danny’s Irish Pub, Ferndale

Even though its infamous plaid carpet was cleaned and later replaced, remnants from decades of late-night gab sessions has soaked into the very fiber of downtown Ferndale’s Danny’s. It’s a no-frills spot for an affordable pint.

Irish Coffee Bar & Grill, Grosse Pointe Farms

This unassuming Mack Avenue spot offers a warm welcome and friendly service, alongside killer burgers and other pub fare.

Sullivan’s Public House, Oxford

Founded by a true-green Irishman, this Oxford spot just opened in 2014 but has garnered a loyal following since then, thanks to old-school hospitality and fantastic traditional cooking, including the Full Irish Breakfast.

Sean O’Callaghan’s Public House, Plymouth

Gorgeously decked out in old wood, stained glass, and Irish author photos, this downtown Plymouth pub serves traditional Irish and American food and drink. The Irish Music Institute hosts a traditional Irish music session every Wednesday.

Pat O’Brien’s Tavern, St. Clair Shores

Serving upscale fare since 1948, Pat O’Brien’s offers an extensive seafood menu along with traditional Irish staples like shepherd’s pie. A selection of Michigan craft beer rounds out the Irish libation offerings.


This story is from the March 2024 issue of Hour Detroit magazine. Read more in our digital edition.