offerings at The Clarke Hotel and Five Points Pub in
downtown Waukesha. The business is expecting additional
visitors on Saturday and Sunday in honor of St.
Eileen Schmidt/Special to
TOWN OF ERIN — Bars and restaurants in the area are
gearing up to celebrate the annual St. Patrick’s Day
holiday, with an emphasis on the food, music and
traditions of the Emerald Isle.
Southeast Wisconsin has a wealth of businesses boasting
Irish-style offerings ready to host patrons celebrating
the 17th of March.
“We just pride ourselves on great service, great food,
great atmosphere,” said Jessica Turner, bar manager and
sous chef at Tally Ho Restaurant & Bar in Erin, noting
the “killer Reuben” on the restaurant’s menu, which also
includes non-Irish fare.
The business is housed in a building that is 148 years
old, and has been home to a variety of occupants,
including a general store, hotel, hall and saloon, and a
post office, Turner said.
Tally Ho has been in the location for over 60 years, and
is currently locally owned and operated by Mark and
Rebecca Meinhardt, who became the owners in December of
last year, according to Turner.
“There’s a lot of love in this place,” she said.
What is it about the atmosphere of Irish pubs like the
Tally Ho that draws customers in, not just on St.
Patrick’s Day, but throughout the year?
Turner and others in the business say there is an air of
“There’s a friendliness component,” said Josh Grossmeyer,
general manager of The Clarke Hotel and Five Points Pub
“In Ireland, ‘pub’ stands for public house, which is a
place of conversation, a place of stories,” he said.
Knudsen talks with a customer this week at 5Points Brew
& Sweets in downtown Waukesha. Businesses like 5Points
are also preparing to celebrate the upcoming St.
Patrick’s Day holiday with select menu offerings and
Eileen Schmidt/Special to
music and food
At Five Points Pub, Grossmeyer said, bartenders converse
with patrons to spark conversation and continue that
tradition, introducing people to those around them while
He added that the music at Five Points Pub is played at
a little lower volume to foster the conversational
atmosphere. But he emphasized that the music is a key
component to the feel of an Irish pub and at Five
Points, so is the food.
“We have top-notch Irish food,” said Grossmeyer, noting
the menu’s corned beef and cabbage and Reuben.
WalletHub, a credit score and reporting site, recently
released a report naming metro Milwaukee as the 11th
best city in the nation for celebrating St. Patrick’s
Day. The report assessed holiday traditions, cost,
safety and weather in the nation’s 200 largest cities.
Chicago topped the list and Madison was ranked third.
But even within the Milwaukee metro, there are regions
known for the local celebrations.
In Erin, people will often line up hours before the
annual parade, according to Turner, who said attendees
will come from around southeast Wisconsin for the event.
“People actually rent out buses and come out for the
parade,” she said.
“Erin is a very Irish area in general,” said Turner,
noting both the family heritage of many area residents
and street names like Shamrock Drive.
Turner said the parade ends at Tally Ho, where an
outdoor heated tent will house live music, along with
food and drink offerings. This year, the band The Boogie
Men will perform twice over the St. Patrick’s day
view of the bar at Tally Ho Restaurant & Bar in the Town
of Erin. The area has a variety of annual celebrations
recognizing the St. Patrick's Day holiday, including a
parade that ends at the Tally Ho, said Jessica Turner,
bar manager and sous chef.
Waukesha a hot spot
And Grossmeyer said Waukesha has become a hot spot for
St. Patrick’s Day revelers, with several Irish pubs in
the area. The Five Points Pub also draws visitors from
around the region for the holiday, in part thanks to the
adjoining Clarke Hotel, according to Grossmeyer.
Other area businesses also plan to embrace the spirit of
the day. At 5Points Brew & Sweets in downtown Waukesha,
Mark Knudsen is planning some St. Patrick’s Day fare for
the menu and will offer an Irish red by the area
Explorium Brewpub on tap, along with other drink
He said the business, which opened last spring at the
downtown location, will open earlier than usual at 8
a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day.
“It’s our first year and we’re going to get into it,”
said Knudsen of the holiday.
“We might even do green pancakes,” he added. The Five
Points Pub will open at 10 a.m. and music will start at
11 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day, with a counter service for
restaurant orders and bagpipers and an Irish dancer
arriving later in the evening, according to Grossmeyer.
While the holiday will draw the biggest crowds, with St.
Patrick’s Day landing on a Sunday, he said Saturday will
also be busier than usual.