A colorful celebration of Ireland’s patron saint, St. Patrick’s Day is less about Ireland and more about drinking. While Irish pubs are the most popular, some of the best times are to be had at a sports bar.
Just off of Locust St. and North Ave., the School Yard Bar & Grill is a relatively new addition to the East Side’s bar district. A family-owned sports bar at heart, the School Yard hosted a large gathering for St. Patrick’s Day enthusiasts. Turning St. Patrick’s Day into a four day event, the celebration spanned the entire weekend.
A revolving playlist of Irish music set the mood, while green-shirted employees showed off the School Yard’s holiday spirit. The night included a variety of specials from reuben sandwiches to $2 green beer and $4 pints of Guinness, and shots of Jameson Irish Whiskey.
Most partygoers celebrated early this year by going out over the weekend. Many of them partook in the 5th annual Shamrock Shuffle, a charity barhop sponsored by Guinness and Bud Light, featuring nearly 40 local bars on its roster. The event benefits the Make-a-Wish Foundation and MS Run the US.
With the Shuffle officially starting at 2 pm, the School Yard’s 240 person capacity was quickly met and maintained well until bar close, leaving the School Yard’s spacious halls filled with a sea of green shirts. Taylor Satorius, lead bartender, worked the entire weekend, citing the 5th annual Shamrock Shuffle as a major cause for the high volumes of customers and well-above average sales.
“I worked the Shuffle. It was just crazy,” Satorius said with a smile. “We had a full bar all day, everyone had a good time, nothing got too out of hand. We just killed it. Everyone was just dancing and having a good time.”
With a full bar and every available table in use for much of the weekend, trouble was bound to happen. Satorious said that due to a well-trained staff, no major incidents occurred that couldn’t be handled resulting in a safe weekend of drinking and spirited fun for all. In light of the lack of issues and satisfaction of her employees and customers, Owner Linda Krish commented on the goals of School Yard as an East Side entertainment destination.
“Our goal here is for people to come and just have fun,” said Krish. “We want it to be a fun place and a great experience.”
When not serving as a destination for St. Patrick’s Day, the School Yard Pub & Grill is a sports bar dedicated to the spirit of fun for college students and residents alike. Following a successful St. Patrick’s Day weekend, the School Yard will be returning to its routine of daily food and drink specials, as well as specials for every major sporting event, including UFC events, Brewers baseball games, and the NCAA basketball tournament. All of these things combined make the School Yard Bar & Grill a premiere destination for hardcore and casual sports fans alike to spend a night on North Avenue.