For American Catholics, St. Patrick’s Day isn’t a holy day of obligation - a feast day that must be observed - the way it is in Ireland. But for American restaurants and nightclubs, it’s pretty close.

At Sports Zone in downtown Tyler, manager Josh Collins said bars are ready for an onslaught of revelers on Friday, which is St. Patrick’s Day, and on Saturday, when many bars will be celebrating with special events.

“St. Patrick’s Day is definitely a celebration that we plan carefully for,” said Collins. “We know we’re going to have much larger crowds that will come in to celebrate a magical holiday.”

It’s not really just about celebrating Irish culture and heritage, he added.

“Well, everyone’s a little Irish on St. Patrick’s Day,” he said. “But it’s a time when people come in to celebrate with friends, and it’s also one of those days when everyone is a friend. There’s a lot of camaraderie associated with St. Patrick’s Day.”

At Sports Zone, green beer will be available on Saturday.

“If there’s a meaning to green beer, I’m unaware of it,” he said. “We do it as a novelty to help celebrate in a special way - like Chicago, which turns its river green.”

The Plumber’s Union has dyed the Chicago River each year since 1962 with a non-toxic dye in celebration. It’s delivered by a Chicago Fire Department fire boat.

For us, it’s an excuse to get together,” Collins said. “We’re going to have some drink specials, such as Irish whiskeys, and lots of beer.”

Food, too, is a part of the celebration. Down the street at Rick’s on the Square, owner Rick Eltife says he’ll have the traditional Irish dish of corned beef and cabbage ready for St. Patrick’s Day.

“We’ll have Jameson Irish Whiskey and Irish mules,” he said. “It’ll be a nice time.”

St. Patrick’s Day coincides with the one-year anniversary of the opening of The Garage Bar near downtown. In addition to green beer and other drink specials, the event will include the popular East Texas band, Blacktop Mojo.

Tyler-area establishments celebrating St. Patrick’s Day include:

  • Sports Zone in downtown Tyler will offer green beer on Friday and Saturday
  • Rick's on the Square will offer traditional Irish dish of corned beef and cabbage on Friday
  • The Garage Bar near downtown will offer green beer, drink specials and music by Blacktop Mojo
  • Republic Ice House, which will feature green beer.
  • Coaches & Cowboys, which will have $6 pitchers of green beer and also an $11.99 fish and seafood platter
  • Razzoo’s, which will have green Bud Light all night.
  • Kawa’s Tyler will celebrated St. Patrick’s Day on Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. with drink specials.
  • Dakota’s Chophouse will also observe St. Patrick’s Day on Friday, starting at 7 p.m. with food specials and live music.

Melissa McTee contributed to this report.