By Jenna Wos, Staff Writer
Opened in 1975 by Dublin-native and retired Detroit police officer John Brady, Old Shillelagh is Downtown Detroit’s Irish Pub.
Located just down the street from Greektown, the space includes two floors and a patio on the roof, which is heated in the winter and open during the summer. With a bar on each floor, Old Shillelagh offers Irish beer, including Guiness, Harp, Smithwick’s, and Killian’s Irish Red, and Michigan-made beer from Atwater Brewery in Detroit and Millking It Production in Royal Oak, in addition to other beers on tap and in bottles.
On Fridays and Saturdays, you can catch either DJ Robby Rob or DJ Ryan E playing today’s hits and yesterday’s favorites on the first level dance floor. Upstairs, Black Mist, a local band that has been performing at Old Shillelagh for about 20 years, plays traditional Irish music and takes requests.
Because it is in the middle of the downtown action, Old Shillelagh offers free rides in their Kelly green shuttle bus to major events at Ford Field, Comerica Park, Joe Louis Arena, and Cobo Center.
For St. Patrick’s Day, the pub will have a weekend-long celebration.
On Saturday, or St. Practice Day, the operation will be in full swing. Tents will be set up in the parking lot, with multiple bars offering beer and spirits, food, merchandise, and entertainment including Black Mist, Stone Clover, and DJs.
On Sunday, the 57th annual Detroit St. Patrick’s Parade will start at noon on 6th Street and process west along Michigan Avenue.
“Monday,” says bartender Jason Livingston, “is the day of rest and the day to wear any color except green.”
On Tuesday, the pub and parking lot will open at 7 a.m.
“We turn into a small city,” says Livingston.
The corner of Monroe and Brush will be a sea of green on St. Patrick’s Day, with people celebrating Irish heritage, whether they are part leprechaun or not.