St. Patrick’s Day brings boost for local businesses

March 17, 2017 11:28 PM

ALBANY - “I'm Irish today and I love it,” said Nicki Leonard. “I mean this is the best day to celebrate being Irish,” she said.

St. Patrick's Day is a big deal in the Capital District.

Advertisement – Content Continues Below

It makes since considering that Upstate New York is home to some of the highest percentages of Irish people in the county according to a study by Trulia. 

“Right here in the Capital District 15.6 percent of the entire Capital District claim some sort of Irish ancestry,” said Irish American Heritage Museum Executive Director Ryan Mahoney.

That is big for businesses catering to the St. Patrick's Day crowd, including McGeary's Irish Pub on Clinton Square in Albany.

“The Irish Americans are crazy and they make...the whole month of March I can't do anything but prepare for this festival,” said McGeary’s Irish Pub co-owner Tess Collins.

It was a packed house inside the bar and restaurant Friday as people celebrated Irish heritage and culture, including traditional Irish food.

“It's much more than boiled meat and potatoes,” Mahoney said. “Actually Irish cuisine is quite, quite diverse,” he said.  

They served some of that food to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day over at the Olde English Pub on Broadway.

“Braised cabbage with house mashed potatoes, again the Guinness corn beef as well as the mustard demi glaze,” said Front of House Manager, Khloe Houlihan.

Besides the food and culture, St. Patrick's Day also has religious meaning.

“St. Patrick was definitely a real person,” Mahoney said. “He was ordained as the Bishop of Ireland,” he said.

For those in the U.S. celebrating the holiday, many people say it is mostly about taking pride in their heritage.

“My grandfather, his favorite holiday was St. Patrick's Day,” said Matt Mallahy. “So now every time I celebrate St. Patrick's Day I feel like I'm honoring him,” he said.

Many people also say it very much about coming together and having fun.

“Everyone's here to like cheers, toast to being Irish...or not...and just have a good time,” Houlihan said. 


Nia Hamm

Copyright 2017 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company