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March 15, 2024

Friday Food Insider: Businesses are gearing up for a busy St. Patrick's Day weekend

Pub exterior Photo / Alexis Wells Rí Rá Irish Pub & Restaurant in Portland plans to start the day with a Paddy's Day plunge at the East End beach, and then doors open at 6 a.m.

As we head into the weekend, Maine restaurants are gearing up for a busy St. Patrick’s Day. 

This year, March 17 falls on a Sunday, so there's plenty of time to celebrate.

If you can’t wait to get your Guinness on and score an Irish food fix, you've come to the right place. The Friday Food Insider has a list of go-to spots to enjoy St. Patrick's Day.

Many pubs and restaurants have told Mainebiz this is their biggest holiday of the year. Some will open as early as 5 a.m. on Sunday, and there will be great deals and special Irish menus.

“This is our Super Bowl,” said Angela Napolitano, general manager of the Dunn Bar in Biddeford. "This is a crazy weekend, and we have maxed out our staff. We are expecting hundreds and hundreds of people throughout the day. We are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and people come out that early. And it is non-stop from open to close.” 

Matt Lacroix, manager at Rí Rá in Portland, said, “By far, this day is our biggest. There will be people there the second we unlock the doors. The brunt of our reservations is during the day. But we have no doubt it will remain busy long into the evening. We have a traditional Irish session from 6-8 a.m. We will have pipers and step-dancers from Stillson School of Irish later in the morning, and live music from 1 p.m. until close."

Patrick Byrnes, manager of Byrnes' Irish Pubs in Brunswick and Bath, said, “It is our busiest day of the year. We served over 300 meals just one day before on St. Patrick's Day and had hundreds of people come through throughout the day. We are expecting at least 500 different people throughout the day, or maybe more. We are open at 10 a.m. We have stuff planned for Friday and Saturday night as well. We will have Irish music and sing-alongs, as well as a variety of classic dishes.” 

Where to go

Here are a few places that will be ready to celebrate. Sláinte!

  • The Dunn Bar at 12 Washington St., Biddeford.
  • Ryan's Corner House Irish Pub at 17 Western Ave., Kennebunk.
  • O'Reilly's Cure Restaurant & Bar at 264 U.S. Route 1, Scarborough.
  • Porttown Public House at 123 Commercial St., Portland.
  • Rí Rá Irish Pub & Restaurant at 72 Commercial St., Portland. 
  • Gritty McDuff's Brew Pub at 396 Fore St., Portland.
  • Byrnes' Irish Pubs at 16 Station Ave., Brunswick, and 38 Centre St., Bath. 
  • Paddy Murphys at 26 Main St., Bangor.
  • The Claddagh Irish Pub at 250 Haskell Road, Bangor.
  • Paddy's Irish Pub & Restaurant at 50 West St., Bar Harbor. 
Building exterior
Photo / Alexis Wells
The Porttown Public House will open at 6 a.m. on Sunday.

Also check out the social media of these businesses for fun events happening throughout the weekend. And you won’t want to miss the Irish American Club of Maine’s annual St. Patrick's Parade. Make sure to pick a favorite spot to watch. The parade starts on Commercial Street beginning at noon on Sunday. 

How will you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day weekend? The Mainebiz Food Insider wants to know! Contact Alexis Wells at

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