Hospitality pours from the local watering holes in downtown Bowling Green. And bottoms-up, as ahhhs, ohhs, and woos spill from the hallway to patio party patrons participating with bottles in palms, loosening inhibitions and intensifying dopamine levels. On the following day, they return.

Businesses around and near Fountain Square Park witness thousands of celebrations daily. Yet, for St. Patrick’s Day, they stock up for the inclusive party among friends forever and forever strangers. According to National Retail Federation data it is a $5.6 billion industry as of 2019.

Consumers plan to spend $40 on average for St. Patrick's Day, according to an annual survey by NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics. For perspective, this is a fraction of the $162 consumers planned to spend on Valentine’s Day. Unlike other holidays, however, this Irish holiday has seen consumer spending grow “the lucky pot of gold” even as the economy recovered from the Great Recession.

Less than a month before March 17, Shots, First Call, + Pub, a fast and fun cozy bar with a creative cocktail service located in the alley to the right of Capitol Arts Theater at 422 ½ East Main, prepares to celebrate its second St. Patrick’s Day. 

In 2019, Shot's first scavenger hunt was on the holiday weekend with participating venues including Cliffs of Moher, The Derby, Dublin’s Irish Pub, Gerald’s Tavern, Hickory & Oak, Micki’s/440 Main, Raw, Rocky’s Bar, Three Brothers and TIdball’s Sounds and Spirits. The scavenger hunt end-game concept for its 100 participants: to visit and try the variety of drinks neighboring bars offered.

A Pub crawl, “Unlucky Charms” is set for Friday the 13th at Shots for the golden festivities. In the crawls, locals and students learn about brews, a popular long-time staple of the nine-year-old Dublin’s Irish Pub which was voted the Best of Bowling Green and Cliffs of Moher Irish Pub which is owned and run by native Irishmen Peter Quinn, Barry Dunworth and Peter Kiely.

The name of Cliffs of Moher Irish Pub in Bowling Green, comes from what the Irish consider one of the “seven Irish wonders.” The awe-inspiring sea cliffs on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way are located in the southwest region and are the second most popular tourist attraction in the country, accounting for 1.6 million visitors last year. It’s runner-up to Guiness Storehouse.

“They come in and show us pictures of the Cliffs and are very proud,” Quinn said. “In Ireland, the traditional Irish country pub was surrounded by people in the agricultural industry who would spend many hours working their land alone during the day, and went to the pub at night for the meeting point, where people could congregate and socialize, causing it to become a big part of their way of life.”

In their second year and modeled after a country village Irish Pub in their native country of Ireland, Cliffs of Moher Irish Pub adds to social itineraries for many in Bowling Green. They can say hello to the Irish owners, and experience a piece of true Irish culture and be reminded of time spent in Ireland.

Pictures of the natural landmark are framed in the business which opens daily from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Live traditional music events are scheduled and listed on the pub’s Facebook page. The Jackobites are slated for March 17th.

“We sell hospitality, which makes you want to walk through the door,” Quinn said. “We are grateful to still be here heading into our second year of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. After enjoying our second year of business and bringing a piece of Ireland to Bowling Green, we are expecting some great celebrations for this St. Patrick’s Day season this year….”

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