Celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day in Woodside

Regulars Pete McGuinness, left, and Kenny Keegan toast pints of Guinness with newcomer Cody Bernard, middle, at Donovan’s Pub.

You don’t need to be Irish to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, but it helps to know where those guys go after the parade. Of all the Irish neighborhoods in New York — from Woodlawn in the Bronx to West Brighton on Staten Island — Woodside, Queens, is where many of the city’s Irish and Irish-Americans celebrate.

Val Garris moved from Ireland to Woodside back in ’83 and says the Irish pride observed in New York opened his eyes.

“It’s great,” said Garris during a recent visit to Saints & Sinners Pub on Roosevelt Avenue. “It’s the center, Woodside here.”

On the big day, make sure to stop by the Irish pub, which is typically teeming with Emerald Isle expatriates. The bar features many “green” amenities, including a horseshoe bar and a customary “snug” — a small alcove where females and policemen could, historically, enjoy a pint free from scrutiny.

The Irish, however, will be the first to admit that the true authorities on St. Patrick’s Day revelry are the Irish-Americans, and it seems that they’re all down the street at Donovan’s Pub.
Donovan’s, established in 1966, goes through 20 kegs of Guinness and 1,000 pounds of corned beef on St. Paddy’s Day, according to maitre d’ Dave Dillane.

Kenny Keegan, a Woodside resident, agrees. His first experience at Donovan’s was as an altar boy from nearby St. Sebastian’s Church, hunting down a missing groom.

“The priest leans over to me, he goes, ‘Run over to Donovan’s and get the groom,’” says Keegan. “That’s just Donovan’s.”

If you go

» Saints & Sinners Pub
59-21 Roosevelt Ave.
Woodside, 718-396-3268
» Donovan’s Pub
57-24 Roosevelt Ave.
Woodside, 718-429-9339


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