Irish Car Bombs and Leprechauns

5:20 a.m., The Brewhouse Pub —

Three senior biochemistry majors braved freezing temperatures before sunrise outside the Brewhouse Pub yesterday morning.

Alex Hill, Danielle Spatholt and Cheryl McCullough stood first at 5:20 a.m.

“We came for the drink specials and the free stuff for being part of the first 300,” Hill said.

When asked what they’d be drinking that morning, the three shouted “Irish Car Bombs!” in unison.

Matt, a 25-year-old Afghanistan War veteran who did not want to give his last name, arrived seconds after the three students.

“I was up all day yesterday,” he said.

Matt held a 16 oz. Redbull in one hand and a pack of Marlboro Reds in the other. “I’m planning on drinking a lot of scotch and trying not to get into a fight,” he added. “This is going to be a day of constant drinking, I’m sure.”

The line swelled in the following minutes as more customers prepared for the Brewhouse’s main special: Irish Car Bombs for $1.99.

Brewhouse staff opened the doors at 5:30 a.m. Three employees stood waiting for the rush: the first checked IDs, the second handed out free T-shirts and the third gave each patron a green hat with a green lei inside.

The staff working the bars was equally prepared. Rebecca Norman, senior early childhood education major, arrived at 5 a.m.

“We’re expecting it to be crazy,” she said.

Although yesterday marked her first St. Patrick’s Day spent bartending at the Brewhouse, Norman knew what buyers would want.

“Irish Car Bombs will be the top seller,” she said as she finished pre-pouring 70 half-shots of whiskey.

An Irish Car Bomb consists of a half-shot of Jameson Irish Whiskey and a half-shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream. The drinker drops the shot into a glass of Guinness stout and chugs the mix before it curdles.

Hill, Spatholt and McCollough found a table and sat with cups filled with cloudy orange drinks.

“We’re starting off early with Fuzzy Navels,” Spatholt said.

While the three students enjoyed their Fuzzy Navels at 5:43 a.m., a line formed out of Brewhouse and stretched to the building to the north.

Two Kent State students moaned when they first saw the line while walking north on Water Street at 5:45 a.m. Nate Smith, junior industrial technology major, continued walking to the Brewhouse with Micah Bryan, junior philosophy and pre-law major.

“The $1.99 car bombs brought us out,” Smith said.

Smith said he and Bryan woke up at 4:30 a.m. so they could get an early start on St. Patrick’s Day.

“The last time I was up this early was probably from the night before,” Smith said.

Bryan said he couldn’t remember the last time he woke up that early, but it was probably for a fishing trip.

The bars to the south didn’t attract the early drinkers as well as the Brewhouse. By 5:55 a.m., scattered drinkers celebrated in 157 Lounge, and others set up inside Water Street Tavern.

-Bo Gemmell

5:50 a.m., The Robin Hood —

Two students stand outside of The Robin Hood, waiting for the bar to open.

“Usually (I) go to bed right now,” says Mike Sandy, freshman psychology major. “I’ve got to at least keep standing at noon, because I’m getting a tattoo at noon. I’m getting a shamrock on my side. Most of my tattoos have something to do with Ireland; most of my family is from there.”

A group of six women clad in green walk down the middle of Lincoln Street and turn toward downtown.

“I love cultural holidays,” says Mike, who’s “like 95 percent Irish.”

“I think sometimes they bring out the best or the worst in you … today probably the worst.”

Another couple shows up outside the Robin Hood.

“Dude, the Brewhouse is like, packed,” the new arrival, Brett Juhasz, says to Mike.

“I know, I went in there for a bomb and then I left,” Mike replies. “My dude was retarded and wore sweatpants today. He didn’t even get in the door.”

Brett, who’s “not a bit Irish, but everybody is today,” says it’s his first time going out in the morning for St. Patrick’s Day. He still plans on going out again later, too.

“One thing I’ve always wanted to do for St. Patrick’s Day is get up at the crack of dawn,” he says. “I woke up excited to get up. I woke up at like 5. We played loud music on the way here.”

A bouncer wearing a bright green Kent State shirt opens the door to the bar.

“I know this is going to sound cliché,” he deadpans, “but top of the morning to you.”

-Josh Johnston