ensemble Danu will perform at the Sharon Lynne
Wilson Center for the Arts in Brookfield tonight.
- As St. Patrick’s Day has grown in popularity around
the country in recent years, so have the opportunities for
businesses to capitalize on the day when everyone can be
“St. Patrick’s Day has a huge impact on our economy
because of the date placed on it,” Chef Michael Feker
said, explaining people have cabin fever and want to get
out of the house. “It provides a bigger right to enjoy
ourselves and get out there.”
During this St. Patrick’s Day on Tuesday, Feker will
serve a traditional Irish dinner at Zesti, his new
restaurant in Hartland. He wants to return the focus more
to the food and time spent with friends and family than as
a day to get inebriated.
“I am all about going back to the table and bringing
people closer to their food,” he said.
His menu will include Reuben-stuffed potatoes, homegrown
Wisconsin lamb and beef stew laced with Guinness and an
Irish pub salad made from bib lettuce, spinach, Irish
bacon and other vegetables.
Feker anticipates people will celebrate St. Patrick’s
Day on the day of the holiday as well as the days before
and after, saying there are people who want to be part of
the chaos and others who don’t just like Valentine’s
Aelred Gannon, co-owner of The Pub in Oconomowoc, said St.
Patrick’s Day is an important money-making day for his
“It’s the busiest day of the year for us. It certainly
helps to pay off some of the bills,” he said, adding
it’s also an expensive day for which to prepare.
On Tuesday, The Pub will have Irish food and Gannon said
although no entertainment is planned, someone may drop in
and play some tunes.
He’s already starting to see the effects of the Irish
holiday. On Thursday night more people came to listen to
“I would anticipate seeing more people out on the
weekend, but they do like to go out, no matter what the
day St. Patrick’s Day is,” Gannon said.
Lively Celtic tunes
For those wanting to listen to some lively Celtic music,
the Irish ensemble Danu will perform at the Sharon Lynne
Wilson Center for the Arts in Brookfield
Executive Director Jonathan Winkle said he personally
enjoys and respects Celtic music so he likes to include it
in the performing arts center’s schedule. And with
Milwaukee home to the world’s largest Irish festival and
a strong Irish community, there is a strong market for the
“There is logic in offering up higher level Celtic
said. “Ticket sales have done well over the years with
the Celtic or Irish music offerings.”
Generally special performances will be for one night, but
there were two nights of performances of Danu scheduled,
which Winkle said illustrates the higher demand. Besides
tonight’s performance, Danu performed Friday.
In addition to the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center seeing
economic impact from St. Patrick’s Day by having the
special programming, it will rent extra sound equipment
from another business, hire a part-time crew to help with
the production, spend money on advertising and patrons
will frequent area restaurants.
One business, although it has the world “Celtic” in
its name, does not see a bump in sales for St. Patrick’s
Day. Lynne Flancher, owner of Celtic Gypsey at 330 W.
Broadway St. in Waukesha, said she’ll even be closed on
Tuesday like normal.
But overall, her best months in the past year for sales
have been February and March, she said.