St. Patty’s Day to come early for some bars

Timothy Magaw

Holiday known for kegs ‘n’ eggs falls during Kent State’s spring break

Although plenty of frosty mugs of green beer will be ready for patrons to drink on St. Patrick’s Day, many Kent bars may not have as many students to serve because of the university’s spring break.

“That hurts the bars with (the holiday) falling on spring break,” said Brett Sinning, general manager of the Water Street Tavern. “We’ll still have a decent amount of people, but I don’t think it will be anything like it usually is.”

Sinning said the Water Street Tavern can make two weeks worth of profits on St. Patrick’s Day, and there’s usually a line of people outside the bar at 6:30 a.m. But he’s not expecting quite that crowd this time around for Monday’s kegs ‘n’ eggs festivities.

In order to make up some of the lost profits, area bars are holding early St. Patrick’s Day activities. Water Street Tavern will open at 4 p.m. today for an early celebration in addition to Monday’s activities.

Some bars, however, are opening even earlier.

Bartender Kyle Olsen said the Brewhouse opens at 5:30 a.m. today for an early version of kegs ‘n’ eggs and various drink specials.

He said Monday’s celebration probably won’t be as busy as last year’s, adding that business on St. Patrick’s Day morning can be as profitable as a Thursday or Saturday night.

“I think we’re going to get a little bit of the local crowd and the kids that didn’t go on spring break, but I don’t think it’s going to be nearly as busy as it normally is,” Olsen said.

Mugs Brew Pub and Sports Grill will open at 6 a.m. today, owner Vince Fazio said. He said it’s still too hard to tell how negatively the holiday falling over break will affect business. Fazio said Mugs will also open at 6 a.m. Monday.

Ray’s Place manager Mike Dalessandro also said it’s a guessing game on what business is going to be like, especially with many of the students leaving town. But he said Ray’s Place will still hold its celebration Monday because he feels it should be held on the actual holiday.

“It’s never changed from the 17th, and we want to keep tradition. I think a lot of customers are expecting to come on that day,” said Dalessandro, adding that not all of Ray’s Place customers are students.

This year’s spring break falls a week earlier than last year’s.

Gayle Ormiston, associate provost for faculty affairs and curriculum, said this is due to a variety of factors. He said whether the semester is split between 10 and five weeks or nine and six weeks determines where the break falls. It also has to do with how certain religious holidays coincide with the end or beginning of the break.

There’s a general expectation in the city that it’s going to be a calmer St. Patrick’s Day than normal because of the early spring break, said Lt. Jayme Cole of the Kent Police Department.

Cole said the department will still be fully staffed on Monday, adding that the holiday doesn’t create too many problems other than a slight increase in calls. He also said there will be no extra staffing this weekend despite early St. Patrick’s celebrations.

St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Saturday last year, and Cole said the city police made 21 arrests and had 117 calls for service.

Alice Ickes, crime prevention officer for the Kent State Police Department, said St. Patrick’s Day should be a “non-event” for campus police this year because of spring break. Students are required to move out of the residence halls by 7 p.m. tomorrow.

There’s usually an increase in activity on the holiday, Ickes said. Last year, campus police made four arrests on St. Patrick’s Day.

“We find people have been drinking quite early,” Ickes said about usual campus activity on St. Patrick’s Day. “It’s a little unusual to have some of the calls for people who appear to be ill wandering drunk in the daytime instead of the nighttime. Unfortunately, it’s just kind of an excuse for heavy drinking.”

If students are planning to stay in Kent for the celebration, Ickes advised to them “try to enjoy the holiday without drinking to excess.”

Contact public affairs reporter Timothy Magaw at [email protected].