In case you forgot what day St. Patrick’s Day is, the homepage of McGovern’s Tavern in Newark has you covered with an official countdown banner.
The day to wear kelly green is, of course, this Friday, March 17.
McGovern’s, at 58 New Street, was opened in 1936 by Irish immigrant Frank McGovern. It is one of three iconic Irish pubs across the state featured in the St. Patrick’s Day section of this month’s NJM cover story, New Jersey’s 45 Best Bars. 973-643-3984 mcgovernstavern.com
The other two are emeralds of equal merit:
The Irish Pub, 164 St. James Place in Atlantic City, dates to the 19th Century, survived Prohibition (thanks in part to a trap door where bartenders hid booze from federal agents) and is still going strong. 609-344-9063 theirishpub.com
At Tir Na Nog, 1324 Hamilton Avenue in Trenton, there will be live music starting at noon and continuing till midnight. 609-392-2554 trentontirnanog.com
I’d like to cite a few other seminal places worth stopping at to toast St. Patrick. Have at ’em!:
The Quiet Man Irish Pub, 64 East McFarlan Street in Dover, is named after the legendary John Wayne-Maureen O’Hara movie. The pub offers a St. Pat’s menu that includes the requisite corned beef dinner and “Dublin-style” fish-and-chips, as well as Quiet Man Irish Stew and Irish Coffee. 973-366-6333 quietmanpub.com
The Dubliner, 96 River Street in Hoboken, is the city’s largest bar. It will operate at full throttle on a day already deemed its Live Bar Friday. 201-656-7731 thedublinerhoboken.com
At Hailey’s Harp and Pub, 400 Main Street in Metuchen, it’s Irish Heritage Week, which will climax Friday with the pub opening at 11 am and kicking off live Irish music at 1 pm. 732-321-0777 haileysharpandpub.com
The Celtic Cottage Pub and Patio Bar, 608 Second Avenue in the West End section of Long Branch, will open at 11 am. Live Irish music at this Shore staple starts at noon and continues till midnight. 732-229-2123 celticcottagepubnj.com
At McDonagh’s Pub, 2 West Front Street in Keyport, every day is St. Patrick’s Day, claim the folks here. On the actual holiday, there will be a festival in the parking lot of this Bayshore stalwart that includes bagpipers and other live music, plus a beer truck. 732-264-0999 mcdonaghs.com
Maloney’s on Main, 119 Main Street in Matawan, might suit those looking for a slightly more sedate celebration. There are top-notch beer-and-food pairings, which goes with having one of the best selections of craft beer in the state, weighing in at 100-plus taps. 732-583-4040 maloneyspubnj.com
The Harp & Bard, 363 Lakeview Avenue in Clifton, has no website, but it’s not behind the times where it counts. It opens for St. Pat’s Day at 7 am. You read that right. The music, however, doesn’t begin until 2 pm. 973-772-7282
Kelly’s Tavern, 43 Route 35 in Neptune City, is famous for its Dublin burger. This old-timer (born in 1949) also starts the day at 7 am. But unlike the Harp & Bard, Kelly’s does so every day, serving breakfast. 732-775-9517 kellystavernjerseyshore.com