Saint Patrick’s Day Preview: Jolly Pumpkin and Conor O’Neill’s

With Saint Patrick’s Day falling on a Monday this year, the typical day-long, party-hopping shenanigans that characterize many students’ celebrations may be out of the question. However, this does not mean that the day is lost. As soon as classes get out, head on over to Main Street for a solid selection of beer and a little piece of Ireland right here in Ann Arbor.

Located on the same block between East William and East Liberty, the Jolly Pumpkin Cafe and Brewery and Conor O’Neill’s Traditional Irish Pub and Restaurant both offer a wide variety of drinks, hearty eats and inviting atmospheres. The wooden ceiling and chairs in Jolly Pumpkin and the gentle lighting throughout convey the mood of an old tavern, while the wall decorations strung throughout Conor O’Neill’s, from kitchen cabinet replicas to directional signs complete with the names of local Irish villages, create a charming and more overtly Irish vibe.

While the atmosphere in Conor O’Neill’s may seem a little forced, the food and drinks certainly aren’t. They’re about as authentic as can be, and no less satisfying. What better way then to spend Saint Patrick’s Day than with a rich pint of Guinness and a hearty entree, such as Brendan’s Rueben (complete with corned beef, Thousand Island dressing, and Swiss cheese on grilled marbled rye and pumpernickel bread). For the more adventurous, try Conor’s Ploughman (with sautéed vegetables served on seven grain bread with cheddar cheese and pesto mayo), each for just $9.00.

If you’re looking for a less authentically Irish, but nonetheless satisfying, selection, head across the street to Jolly Pumpkin and try one of their many draft beers (by the glass or by the pitcher to be shared with friends), such as the North Peak Majestic Wheat Ale for $4.50 a pint and $14.00 a pitcher. Or, if you prefer darker beers, the Jolly Pumpkin Bam Noire at $5.00 for a 14oz glass or $18.00 pitcher is a great call.

If you’re looking for a great way to escape the cold, change up from the usual drinking venues on campus, or simply get in the spirit of Saint Patrick’s Day this year, drop by the Jolly Pumpkin or Conor O’Neill’s.


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