I once overheard an Irish waiter at Mulligan’s on the Blue respond to a visitor’s “you’re a long way from home” with “Maybe, but on Maui, we’re all islanders.” Cute. And true. Living on a rock in the middle of the ocean – any ocean – takes a certain tolerance for isolation.
And when things get a little too lonely, beer usually helps. Every Saint Patrick’s Day on Maui brings lots of celebrants to the bar(s) to take the edge off and celebrate what Steve Carrell’s character in The Office calls “The closest the Irish get to Christmas.”
You’ll see drink specials and corned beef and cabbage on many menus, but this year, here’s our personal faves for how to celebrate. (Disclaimer: please make sure you’ve got a designated driver – Hawaii has the dubious distinction of leading the nation in alcohol-related traffic fatalities, so let’s be safe.)
Pipes on the Pacific – Tuesday March 16, 4:30-6:30pm
This is a shameless-and-enthusiastic plug for our friend Roger McKinley, who’s playing his bagpipes on a Trilogy yacht on St. Patrick’s Eve. Roger plays like a madman, and is a lot of fun. This should be a good show (and if you were thinking of hiring him for your wedding, a good way to see him entertain). The whales have been jumping around, so we imagine you’ll see some on this two hour tour of the Ka’anapali coast. Pupus, beer, wine, cocktails, and (of course) the sail and live music: $59. Call 808.874.5649 for reservations.
St. Paddy’s Day Bash – Mulligans on the Blue – Wailea – Wednesday March 17, 6:30am to closing
Mulligans is starting a new tradition this year – a golf tournament to benefit Save the Arts (a program to help bring the arts back to Maui schools). We can’t think of a nicer way to start St. Paddy’s Day (for a golfer) than a 6:30am tournament on the Blue Course in Wailea.
Irish Breakfast starts in the restaurant at 8am, and their full Irish luncheon menu arrives at 11am and lasts until 3pm. There will also be a food tent outside the restaurant with $10 plate lunches featuring Harp-battered fish and chips, bangers and mash, and corned beef and cabbage. Dinner is buffet style, and starts at 4pm: $45, or $65 to get the t-shirt, too. Prizes for best leprechaun costume.
The new Irish band Finn McCoul will play from noon -3pm. The Isle of Maui Pipe Band takes the stage at 5pm, and the Celtic Tigers play from 5-8:30pm. The Willie K Band plays from 9pm to closing. Tickets are $10 in advance and $20 at the door, no cover before 5pm. Best to call to get all the details and reservations – this place is packed on St. Patrick’s. Call 808-874-1131.
(PS: We haven’t stayed at Hotel Wailea yet (it used to be the Diamond Resort), but they’re opening their rooms at a special rate and supplying a free shuttle to the festivities down the hill. Swanky digs for $135 … call 808-874-0500 for details and reservations.)
We’re exhausted just writing about it…
St. Paddy’s Day – Mulligans at the Wharf – Lahaina – Wednesday March 17, 1pm – closing
Mulligans at the Wharf – the Blue’s west-side sister – is throwing her own party starting with the Celtic Tigers from 1-3pm, the Unintelligents from 5-7pm, and Johnny Ringo from 9pm to closing. Guiness and Harp on tap, corned beef and cabbage and bangers and mash on the menu. Call 808-661-8881 for details.
Finn McCoul at the Westin – Ka’anapali – Wednesday March 17, 6-10pm
Finn McCoul is a new Celtic band here on Maui, and they’re playing traditional Irish and Scottish music at Ono Restaurant (the Westin’s poolside restaurant). Check them out. Call 808-667-2525 for details.