Go Green: Why Irish Pubs Make Great Venues

    With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, you may be thinking you need more room to host the perfect party. One often overlooked locale that’s perfect for the task is the good, old-fashioned Irish Pub. 

    While this variety of establishment comes in all shapes, sizes, and accommodations, most who book them for an event find them to be surprisingly hospitable — and a whole lot of fun. Here’s what you need to know before booking the local pub, and why these locales are becoming the favored alternative to hosting lively get-togethers anywhere else.

    They Have a (Good) Reputation
    It can be a risky experience to pick an event venue out of a list and hope that you’ve made the right choice. With a pub, however, it’s easy to sample the offerings far in advance of your planned party. Since Irish Pubs are open to the public most of the week, you can make a point to drop in when they least expect you and experience the ambiance, food, and drinks for yourself. 

    Pick a few things from the menu and get a feel for how your guests might receive them. Get the scoop on a place from those who frequent it, and you’ll know that you’ve made the right pick before you book it for a private gig. 

    They Have a History
    One fun feature of pubs is that they love their legacy. You’ll often find that the bar or walls are made with authentic pieces of bars shipped over straight from Ireland. In addition to the warm wood tones, moody lighting, and cozy seating, there’s just something about the atmosphere that you won’t find in any other kind of bar.

    And, if yours happens to be longstanding, maybe a famous playwright or poet was sitting in that same spot you were a century ago! 

    They Offer Flexibility
    Perhaps the best part of booking a pub is that there are usually more than a few rooms and configurations to pick from – even if you want your event to be away from the main bar area. Some have anything from a library, snooker room, smoking room, or vast patio to entertain and celebrate with your friends and loved ones. 

    Unlike stuffy party rooms with only so many ways to arrange the chairs, Irish pubs are more likely to permit partygoers to mingle as they see fit. Many pubs also have connected rooms, so if you do need more space, opening an adjacent seating area is a possibility. Ask in advance what options are available — you’ll be astonished at how many custom options even the smaller pubs offer. 

    If you’re not sold on the idea of booking a pub for your St. Paddy’s event – or any other celebratory occasion, take a look at what these three top picks give their guests:

    Rí Rá Irish Pub & Restaurant – Atlanta, Georgia
    It’s not often that you find a pub as spacious as it is traditional. The Rí Rá Irish Pub & Restaurant in Atlanta has three distinct options for parties of any size. The Main Bar is designed to provide a cozy space for smaller groups and features an ornate Victorian bar from the 1780s. The Harbour Bar, originally located in Northern Ireland before it was shipped to the U.S., has been carefully pieced back together and can hold your party of 70. 

    It also has a private bar, big-screen televisions, and all necessary A/V equipment. If you need even more space, check out The Library, a more formal space with its own stage, screen, and projector — all inside a miniature pub!


    Wild Rover Irish Public House – Kirkland, Washington
    The beautiful Wild Rover Irish Public House establishment has been opening its doors to diners and celebrations of all kinds since 2006. While the main bar is a sight to see and lovely any time of the week, the private accommodations are perfect for your larger gatherings, engagement parties, and birthday events. 

    Enjoy the outdoor deck, which takes in a view of Lake Washington, or choose from one of three private gathering rooms. The Irish Writer’s Room is a nod to old Ireland with a cozy, functional brick fireplace and an outdoor patio; it easily accommodates up to 70 guests (50 seated) and features writings and books from the best Irish authors. 

    For a larger crowd, consider the Gaelic Room, which accommodates up to 100 and features a private bar, projector, and 1000 square feet of charming décor. With 10-foot high ceilings and lakefront windows, it’ll ensure you throw a photo-worthy soiree. Add on a Game Room reservation get an additional 100 guests, plus access to the pool table and shuffleboard games. 


    Rí Rá Irish Pub & Restaurant – Washington, D.C.
    Located in the heart of Georgetown, this second location of the Rí Rá Irish Pub & Restaurant is equipped for every kind of party imaginable. Small groups will find the Victorian Bar to be more than suitable, thanks to the raised area that comes up off the main bar but still gives guests access to the live music in the public spaces. 

    For a more intimate feel, consider the Presidential Room, with space for 80 seated and 100 standing, plus A/V equipment for presentations. This room adjoins the Kennedy Room for even more space to move around. You can also get nostalgic with the old Whiskey Room, a corner space for a few close friends and one of the most extensive Irish and worldwide whiskey collections around. 

    Finally, the Theatre Room gives a dramatic flair to all things old Irish, offering authentic décor, columns, and restored paneling from Dublin’s The Theatre Royal. (The Original Theater was the largest in Europe, seating 3,700 guests for shows featuring Bob Hope and other legends.) Now, this space is a hot spot for private gatherings of all kinds.

    Booking an Irish pub can be a simple task, but many are accustomed to even the most detailed event itineraries. You can even ask if they have their own event planner — some do! Whatever you hope to commemorate with your booking, remember that the Irish tradition is built on authenticity, warmth, and making sure everyone has a good time. If you would like your event to reflect all those things, a pub is certainly a great venue choice.