York bars vie to fill St. Patrick's Day void

David Weissman
  • York bars and restaurants will be offering extended hours, green beer and Irish pub fare on St. Patrick's Day.

St. Patrick's Day is typically one of the biggest says of the year for Irish pubs, but York lost its Irish pub two years ago.

Coombs Tavern, 475 Pennsylvania Ave.will have Irish beers on tap and offer special food including Irish stew and corned beef sandwiches for St. Patrick's Day, Friday,  March 11, 2016. John A. Pavoncello photo

Maewyn's, at 110 N. George St. in York City, closed in July 2014, but other local bars and restaurants are taking advantage of the void.

Extended hours, Irish food and green beer are among the many ways York County restaurateurs are looking to appeal to the holiday's celebrators.

"People love Irish pubs on St. Patrick's Day, so we pretty much turn into one for a few days," said Scott Eden, owner of Holy Hound Taproom.

Eden said his downtown York business gets its biggest bump in sales during the York St. Patrick's Day Parade, which happened on Saturday, but he still expects a "better-than-average" Thursday.

Holy Hound will be open at 11 a.m. and offer Irish food options, including bangers and mash.

Coombs Tavern, in York City, will also be adding menu items for the March 17 holiday, according to owner Ron Marquette. The offerings include shepherd's pie, corned beef sandwiches and Irish stew, which Marquette said has been a customer favorite the past few years.

Tom Sibol, owner of White Rose Bar and Grill, said his restaurant will also offer some Irish food on Thursday, but otherwise, it will just be "business as usual."

White Rose owner and manager to open seafood restaurant at former Maewyn's Pub

Sibol now owns the former Maewyn's building with his business partner, Jeremiah Anderson. The two are in the process of turning the space into a seafood restaurant.

While White Rose won't be going all out for the holiday, Sibol said it's often one of his business' top three days in terms of sales.

Konstantine Sgagias, owner of Reliance Cafe in West York, said St. Patrick's Day is behind just Mother's Day in terms of people going out to eat for a holiday.

Carly McWilliams, manager, taps a Jolly Scott by Appalachian Brewing Co. at Coombs Tavern, 475 Pennsylvania Ave., Friday,  March 11, 2016. Coombs Tavern will have Irish beers on tap and offer special food including Irish stew and corned beef sandwiches for St. Patrick's Day. John A. Pavoncello photo

"It's just more laid back, not the kind of holiday where you feel the need to stay in and eat with family," Sgagias said. "You're more free to go out and have a good time."

For Sgagias, that good time leads to a major spike in alcohol sales at Reliance Cafe, where he offers green beer for the occasion, he said.

Sgagias also serves as secretary of First Capitol Restaurant Association, a local organization comprised of more than 250 restaurateurs that combines to get better deals with vendors.

He's seen fellow members in Lancaster and Harrisburg take advantage of combined efforts during St. Patrick's Day, but he's unsure if such an option would be feasible in York, he said.

"It's a tough town to create things of that nature," Sgagias said. "People are really set in their routines here."

— Reach David Weissman at dweissman@yorkdispatch.com.