Erin go bar-hopping!

A shortlist of Irish pubs for St. Patrick's Day celebrations

Bailey's Pub 22091 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; 313-277-3212; 1777 Canton Center Rd., Canton; 734-844-1137; 1965 W. Maple, Troy; 248-435-3044: The Bailey's Pub triumvirate will be marking St. Patrick's Day in style this year. The Canton location will open at 9 a.m., ready to party. If your group maybe loves hoops about as much as corned beef, Bailey's could be the perfect place. In Canton, the 35 televisions, tuned to NCAA, will help bring out the man-cry, as will libations that include not just $3 green Bud Light, but 30-plus beers on tap and many more bottled brews. A reasonably priced menu of above-average food will help bring bingers back from the brink, and a DJ from 9 p.m. to close will keep the party going. The formula will be much the same in Dearborn, but with a live band from 2 to 7 p.m., the Duffy King Koalition. Expect green beer, Guinness, corned beef and cabbage, as well as Reuben sandwiches. In the lounge will be March Madness with the sound on, and DJ I-MiX from 9 to close. Up in Troy it will be even more sports-centric, with MSU societies cheering on college ballers. At all Bailey's locations there will be no cover this year.

The Blarney Stone 27253 Woodward Ave., Berkley; 248-541-1881: In typical St. Patrick's Day fashion, Blarney Stone, a cozy little den full of classic Irish pride conveniently located on Woodward Avenue, will have bagpipes blaring and the green beer flowing. There will be many liquor companies doing promotions — which means free liquor giveaways. This lively, impossibly cluttered little bar will be jam-packed, so one of the bar's two parking lots will be taken over by a massive, heated beer tent, lending comfort if it's cold. There are plenty of beers either on tap or in bottles, with Guinness drawn in the traditional manner, as the bartender permits some time to elapse before topping it off.

Callahan's Neighborhood Bar 2105 South Blvd., Auburn Hills, 248-858-9508: Callahan's will be celebrating St. Paddy's with live music from Tab Benoit, the "Cajun-Irishman." And there is never any shortage of Irish and American food at Callahan's. Don't worry, vegetarians: they offer a garden burger in case all the buffalo wings and steak sandwiches freak you out.

Claddagh Irish Pub 17800 Haggerty Rd., Livonia; 734-542-8141: Claddagh is the spot for those who like their St. Paddy's Day to begin way earlier than that of your average rookie: the joint will be opening at 7 a.m. After 3 p.m., there will be a cover charge of $5. Irish dancers and the "Guinness Girls" will be around to really set the mood.

Conor O'Neill's Traditional Irish Pub 318 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-665-2968: All day St. Patrick's Day — that is, from noon until closing — Conor O'Neill's will feature a full-on blast of Irish festivities, ranging from dancers to pipers to bands. Beyond that, there will be hourly drink specials.

Dick O'Dow's 160 W. Maple Rd., Birmingham; 248-642-1135: For the past 15 years, Dick O'Dow's has been Birmingham's most popular unpretentious watering hole. Created by the late Dick O'Connor, Peter Dow and Mitch Black in the central shopping district on Maple, the dimly lit pub, graced with simple wooden tables and chairs, faded wall murals from the Book of Kells, agricultural paraphernalia and a wide variety of Irish kitsch, is a surprisingly accurate re-creation of a rural local in the Ould Sod. In fact, much of the bar was constructed in Ireland and shipped to Birmingham by a Guinness subsidiary. With its wooden panels of deep, dark brown and its dimly-lit, atmospheric look, Dick O'Dow's is typically a prime locale for foamy beer as rich as the conversation that accompanies it. But on St. Patrick's Day, Dick's bursts with more than enough of the revelry that defines the holiday. It will be opening at 7 a.m.; three bands will be playing throughout the day. There is no cover charge. Be sure to ask about the Irish whiskey tasting.

Dooley's Tavern 32500 Gratiot Ave., Roseville; 586-296-2739; 12414 Hall Rd., Sterling Heights; 586-323-3501: Even though Dooley's celebrates St. Patrick's Day every month on the 17th, the actual St. Patrick's Day is their specialty. What else would you expect from a tavern whose website prominently displays the questions "Are You Ready?" under St. Paddy's date?

Duggan's Irish Pub 31501 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak; 248-549-3659: In addition to the normal dosages of Irish food and heavy Irish drinking, Duggan's — the multi-floor, Woodward Avenue bastion of spirits, darts, and sports-talk — will be the location of two radio broadcasts, one from 99.5-FM and the other from WOMC, during the day on St. Patrick's Day. Brothers of the Sea will give a live performance in the evening.

Foran's Irish Pub 612 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-961-3043: Foran's makes its home in the historic Grand Trunk Railroad Station on Woodward and Congress. In this historic space, they commonly offer special food, drink and entertainment on the big day. Stop in for their meatloaf that is covered in Jameson Whiskey gravy for only $8.75. Foran's beer selection is all "home-based." All beers on tap are from Michigan breweries; along with 30 other bottled Michigan beers. Call after 5 p.m. for details.

Gaelic League and Irish American Club 2068 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-964-8700: Wander in on an off-day and its no big whoop: a quiet, smoky private club with green-tinted sunlight streaming in. The barkeep might even joke self-deprecatingly that it's just a "shot-and-a-beer joint." But on the day of the St. Patrick's Day parade, nothing could be further from the truth. It's also darn lively on the day itself, even if it falls on a weekday. The bar doesn't look like much, with a small stage at the end, but step up into the carpeted lounge and it begins to resemble an early 20th century club, with rough plaster, dark, old wood split with age, old-fashioned lanterns on the wall, and even a fireplace flanked with bookcases. And that's not to mention the large hall in the rear where much of the action goes down on parade day. Come early because tents will be set up in the parking lot and live music will begin the celebration at noon. They'll offer beer, corned beef sandwiches, turkey sandwiches and Irish stew to member patrons. The Gaelic League is about a block west of the parade route, but there's always a huge scene there, both inside the club and out back. Members: free; non-members: $10. And it's a private club, so any shenanigans mean you'll be out on the street. Play nice.

Gus O'Connor's Irish Pub 42875 Grand River Ave., Novi; 248-465-9670: Opens at 7 a.m., and no cover until 10 a.m. After that, a $10 cover gets you access to both floors on St. Patrick's Day only, a total of 10,000 square feet. Gus O'Connor's wants you to "drink like a champion" and will offer many drink specials, such as $4 domestic drafts, $5 imports, $6 Guinness 20-ouncers and $3 shots. Food choices include corned beef sandwiches, Guinness stew, house-made chips with onion dip, hot dogs and pizzas. Live radio broadcasters from 97.1-FM will join the fun from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Also expect live music, Irish dancers and bagpipers throughout the day.

Irish Tavern 4703 Elizabeth Lake Rd., Waterford; 248-683-9056: Opening at 9 a.m. the entire day will be filled with Irish music from the Entertainers, as well as a live DJ. Bagpipers will play throughout the day and everybody can enjoy the great corned beef specials. Green beer is a must for a St. Patrick's Day celebration and the Irish Tavern will have plenty at standard prices. They'll also serve a Seussian breakfast of green eggs and ham, with $2 dollar beers and shots before 2 p.m. Bonus: If you come in wearing an Irish Tavern T-shirt, you get one free beer before 2 p.m. There will be a $3 cover after 6 p.m. and the tavern will be open until 2 a.m.

John Cowley & Sons 33338 Grand River Ave., Farmington; 248-474-5941: Often lost among the dozens of strip mall restaurants labeled "bar and grille," the classic neighborhood joint is something of a dying art. The food and drink might be great, or it might be terrible — but Cliff and Norm are always there. Not everyone at John Cowley & Sons Irish Pub will know your name, but the spirit of the friendly local watering hole is alive and well on the west side. Cowley's will host the Shawn Riley Band from noon to 5 p.m. After that, there will be — wait for it — Free Beer (sorry, folks, it's the name of the band; Michigan law forbids free beer) from 6 p.m. until closing.

Kennedy's Irish Pub 1055 W. Huron St., Pontiac; 248-681-1050: Opening at 9 a.m., start off your St. Patrick's Day by really getting into the "green" spirit and enjoying a breakfast featuring green eggs and ham. They hadn't hammered out the price yet, but say it will be reasonable. Continue the Irish meal later on by having corned beef and cabbage for dinner. Live music will be performed all day. Last year, they had an awesome Olympic-inspired drinking game: a Green Apple Pucker luge, created for the competitive drinkers. No word on whether they'll have one this year, though.

The Lager House 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-961-4668: OK, so years of rockin' and rollin' may have chipped away at the bar's Irish identity, but where else can you chill in the "Jerome P. Cavanagh Social Room" on parade day? Located in the midst of Corktown, it's no surprise that the Lager House hosts a celebration on St. Patrick's Day. On Thursday, March 17, they will likely open a bit later, perhaps 11 a.m., but the party won't stop till 2 a.m. Enjoy live entertainment at night without a cover charge. Also note that they have kicked up their culinary offerings as of late, and will probably have some heavy fare as an antidote to all that Jameson's.

Malarkey's Irish Sports Bar 14980 Dix-Toledo Rd., Southgate; 734-281-2616: Malarkey's will open at 7 a.m. promptly, with an in-house broadcast from WRIF's Anne Carlini from opening until noon, as well as a scrambled eggs and bacon buffet in the back of the bar. After that, expect three live bands, including Two Dudes and a Chick, as well as Wyandotte's Shane Lamay, with DJ Dick entertaining the crowd in between sets. There will be Irish drink specials and green beer, the limited menu will include Irish stew and the "food of the day" will be corned beef and cabbage. They'll be selling tickets for Queen of Hearts, a charity for children suffering hair loss, and Bud, Miller and J�ger girls will be giving away prizes — including T-shirts and beads — all day long.

O'Blivion's Corktown Café 1800 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-962-1383: Occupying a prime spot on the parade route, O'Blivion's Corktown Café is one of the best places to catch the parade on March 13. On Thursday, St. Patrick's Day proper, they'll open at 10 a.m. Live music from Shenanigans and Shillelaghs will commence at 6 p.m., with more hot corned beef sandwiches, hot dogs, and pints of Guinness and Smithwick's.

Old Shillelagh 349 Monroe St., Detroit; 313-964-0007: Come out to join the Shillelagh celebrating St. Patrick's Day. The bar claims to have "the world's hugest St. Patrick's Day party." For the past 20 years, the Shillelagh has celebrated the land of the leprechaun in two heated tents that can hold more than 800 people. There's a $10 cover charge on St. Patrick's Day, when, starting at 7 a.m., giveaways, food and beer will be plentiful. The Shillelagh offers 20 beers on tap and features the "Irish flag shot," a layered drink made with Grand Mariner, Baileys and Midori, resembling the Irish flag. In the past, they've had all sorts of fun stuff in the mix, including an actual wedding. Who knows what will take place amid all the excitement this year, the celebration's 20th anniversary.

O'Mara's 2555 W. 12 Mile Rd., Berkley; 248-399-6750: This brewpub calls itself "Michigan's best-kept Irish dining secret." Their shepherd's pie and Irish stew are menu staples, but they'll also have corned beef and cabbage, fish and chips, chicken pot pies and Reubens. They'll have live Irish entertainment all day, with reservations a must. The day's four seatings include Charlie O'Lattimer (noon- 2:30 p.m.), the J.D. Rockinfellers (3-5:30 p.m.), Rod Coden (6-8:30 p.m.) and the Blackthorn Band (9-11:30 p.m.). The first two shows are $5, reservations required in the dining room, bar seating first-come-first-served. The final two shows are $10 with reservations in the bar still available when we called. Opens at 11 a.m. and closes at 2 a.m.

O'Tooles 4000 Cass Elizabeth Rd., Waterford; 248-683-3494: O'Tooles will open at 7 a.m., and if you order a beer you get access to their breakfast buffet until 10 a.m., featuring scrambled eggs, biscuits, corned beef hash, bacon, fruit and pastries. Expect live entertainment all day long, from Jerry Sprague at 9-11 a.m., Shenanigans to Shilelaghs at noon-6, and Marlboro Adams at 6 p.m.-midnight. There will be bagpipers in and out all day, and O'Tooles' enclosed deck-patio adds to the draw. In addition to drink specials, the post-buffet food will continue, with plenty of corned beef, shepherd's pie, and Guinness-battered fish and chips. They'll start charging a $5 cover "when line form," so arrive early. Closes at 2 a.m. And the fun doesn't stop there: Their "morning after" party will help you recover with $3 Bloody Marys, $3.50 Guinness drafts, $3 McSorley's drafts and more.

Rosie O'Grady's 279 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-591-9163; 30400 23 Mile Rd., Chesterfield; 586-421-1962; There's a party up in Ferndale! Starting at 7 a.m., they'll have a free breakfast buffet, some beer specials, including $2.25 for domestic drafts, $3.25 for imported, and no cover charge; that lasts until noon. After noon, expect a $5 cover charge, but don't balk: There's a full schedule of live music, with Jerry Stevenson at 7-9 a.m., the Wall Clocks at 10 a.m.-noon, the Robin Horlind Band at 1-4 p.m., Brandon Calhoon at 5-7 p.m., the Creelers at 8-11 p.m. and DJ Captain 20 will close it out from 11 p.m.-2 a.m. They'll also have two live broadcasts, from 93.9 The River from 7 to 10 a.m., and from WCSX-FM from 2 to 6 p.m. Rosie's will serve a limited Irish menu, featuring corned beef and cabbage, as well as the crowd-pleasing Reubens, hot dogs and hamburgers. If you haven't seen their huge new space on Nine Mile Road yet, you will be amazed when you do.

Sheehan's on the Green 39450 Five Mile Rd., Plymouth; 734-420-0646: This is Sheehan's 34rd Annual St. Patrick's Day Event. By celebrating, they will open their doors at 10 a.m. inviting everybody to partake in the St. Patrick's Day festivity. The menu will include trusty corned beef and cabbage, corned beef sandwiches and Irish stew. Expect live sing-alongs, especially after a few green beers. There will be Irish pipers, and Guinness and Smithwick's on tap. Don't worry about the weather because Sheehan's will have a heated, covered outdoor patio in case you need to take shelter. No cover charge, giveaways all day, and free cab rides.

Sean O'Callaghan's 821 Penniman Ave., Plymouth; 734-459-6666: Sean O'Callaghan's keeps up with the Irish authenticity by featuring live music from a band direct from Ireland. Doors open at 7 a.m. on St. Patty's Day, with 16-ounce draft beers at $5. There will be a $10 cover charge to help pay for the bands that start at noon and play all day.

Special thanks to editorial interns Alia Raheem and Patrick Higgins for helping research and write these listings. See any inaccuracies? Let us know! E-mail [email protected] or call 313-202-8043.

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