Crehan’s St. Patrick’s Weekend from Belleville News Democrat

West End WEEKLY

  Crehan’s On St. Patrick’s Day Weekend: You Never Had So Much Fun at a Wake
  Mark Johnson Contributing Writer

Lying in a casket in the middle of a bar while people talk about you – an unusual way to pass a Saturday evening. But, truth be told, it’s a scene not uncommon at Crehan’s Irish Pub, which holds an Irish Wake each year where they do exactly that. This year’s will take place on Saturday March 15 at 6 p.m. for St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

This Irish wake is a tradition that’s gone  on at Crehan’s for 15 years with the Riverside Bugle Band, a side group comprised of members of the Ainad Shriners’ Drum and Bugle Corps. They play traditional Irish music during the wake which, despite all appearances, is a light-hearted experience that’s difficult to find a suitable comparison for.

As is done at all wakes, people at an Irish wake shared stories about someone’s life. In this instance that person is not passed but instead  someone from the crowd,

sometimes a regular, an employee or someone else, but once they’re chosen that person is laid in a casket and carried into the bar by pallbearers. Once placed in the middle of the crowd, the resident minister comes and speaks about the person, the band plays, and everyone celebrates the life of the person in the casket. That’s where the similarities to an actual wake end.

“It’s usually a one-of-a-kind performance,” Barry Gregory, owner of Crehan’s, said. “We bring them in dead and raise them to life. It’s very appropriate to say it’s an inappropriate performance.”

The remembrances dug up during the wake are less the flowery kind than they are the colorful, funny stories you probably wouldn’t tell a stranger that everyone collects over time. That’s what makes the Irish wake unique each time it’s performed – everyone’s story is different, so attendees never have to worry about a repeat performance. It’s this variation that keeps each year’s event interesting and fresh, each experience unlike the others past in many details.

St. Patrick’s Day weekend is a big one for  Crehan’s; their celebrations extend beyond the Irish wake on Saturday in both directions, starting on Friday night with a traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner and the duo Rogers & Nienhaus, two former members of The Byrds, performing. Saturday morning Crehan’s opens at 8 a.m. for a traditional Irish breakfast, complete with green eggs, ham, potatoes, sausages, biscuits and gravy, Irish coffee and bloody Marys, all of which  costs only $5 for all you can eat.

After breakfast the crew will leave Crehan’s to go take part in Belleville’s St. Patty’s Day parade. After the parade the group will mosey back to the pub to eat some corned beef and cabbage, potatoes and Reubens before the Irish wake begins. Crehan’s is known for their awesome traditional Irish food so much so that last year

Gregory got an unusual call asking for directions.

“It was a truck driver from Chicago who called and asked for directions here. He said ‘I heard you guys have the best corned beef in St. Louis,’” Gregory said.

If you missed your shot on Friday or Saturday you can try their corned beef for yourself on Sunday, as Crehan’s will open at 11 a.m. to serve more corned beef and cabbage. By 4 p.m. Charlie England will perform, gearing crowds up for St. Patrick’s Day the next day. Come next morning Crehan’s will open with the last Irish breakfast of the weekend at 8 a.m. for St. Patrick’s Day. By twilight, at 6 p.m., a band of bag pipers, sponsored by Grey Eagle Distributing, will come and perform the closing show for a weekend already quite full of jubilation and green dye.

Crehan’s Irish Pub is located at 5500 North Belt West, and you can find out more about them at  www.crehansirishpub.com   or by calling 234-6500.

Additional information from Crehan’s Irish Pub.

CREHAN’S Irish Pub & Banquet Center is the place to start and finish your St. Patrick’s Celebration!
On Friday, we start our Celebration with a Concert by Terry Rogers & Scott Nienhaus, formerly of the nationally renown band, “The Byrds.”
Whether it is Saturday, March 15 or Monday, March 17, we open both days at 8AM with our 16th Annual “All You Can Eat” Irish Breakfast of Green Eggs, Ham, Sausage, American Potatoes and Biscuits and Gravy.  All for less than $5.00.  Try our Irish Coffee, Irish Cream Coffees or Bloody Mary’s.  Naturally, we will have Guinness and Smythwick’s on tap.
On Saturday at Parade time, we switch to our Famous Corned Beef & Cabbage.  Do not miss the best Corned Beef in the Region!  Naturally, we have our Ruebens and the fabulous ho-made Irish Chips.
The Irish Arts Council of St. Louis will be joining us on Saturday afternoon with traditional Irish Dancers.  Then at 6PM, do not miss the infamous Riverside Bugle Band perform the one and only “Irish Wake.”  As any Irish Wake, this contains an “Adult theme.”
On Sunday at 4PM, we will have Country Music with Charlie England and the Third Generation Band.  Of course, Corned Beef and Cabbage will be served.
On Monday, March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, we open at 8AM again with the “All You Can Eat” breakfast.  At 11AM, we switch to Corned Beef & Cabbage Specials.  Around 6PM, come see our BAGPIPERS presented by Grey Eagle Distributors.
We will be celebrating each and everyday, all day, with Green Drink Specials, Irish Whiskey such as Jameson, Michael Collins, 2 Gingers, Paddy’s as well as Irish Mist.
How can you be Irish on this week-end without visiting the only Irish Pub in Belleville?  Do not miss your chance to be Irish by visiting CREHAN’S Irish Pub & Banquet Center.
Don’t have something to wear?  This excuse will never fly.  Just stop by to get one of our Irish Shirts in either short or long sleeve.
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