Akron’s Finest Brew

Tylor Bennetts

A troupe of step dancers might seem like a once-a-year spectacle for most St. Patrick’s Day revelers; but for Kevin O’Bryan’s, 1761 S. Main St., it’s just another day as an Irish pub.

Along with Brubaker’s Pub, located on 357 S. Main St., and the Barley House, 222 S. Main St., O’Bryan’s tops the list of the hottest and most high-traffic Akron locations for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

“Honestly, between 11 a.m. and 10 p.m., this place is over capacity,” said Kevin O’Bryan’s regular, Nick Gruska. “Last year it was deemed a hazard, and the fire department came down and demanded to work the door for us.”
Not to be outdone by the traditional O’Bryan’s down the road, Barley House will seek permission from the City of Akron Fire Department to block off the part of Main in front of their bar.

“We shut down the street and set up cornhole, flip cup and battle shots,” said Jonah Swafford, a bartender at Barley. “Kegs n’ Eggs starts at 6 a.m. and once it’s busy, it stays that way. Not one employee has off work that day, it’s non-stop, for sure.”

Brubaker’s Pub is keeping things more low key for its Emerald Isle celebrations: green beer and the mixed Guinness drink known as an Irish Car Bomb will be the order of the day.

Other festivities include the live music of Callahan and O’Conner, a local Irish band that will be playing at Kevin O’Bryan’s on March 15 and 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

“You know, it’s comfortable; the people are nice and you won’t find anyone high strung,” said O’Bryan’s bartender and namesake, Kevin Ingler, who pulls out all the traditional stops for St. Patrick’s Day. “Also, my wife Brianna is an ex-Irish dancer and she’s bringing friends from her old dance studio to put on an Irish jig.”

Take a walk along Akron’s Main Street on Sunday the 17th and you will certainly be seeing green. Keep it up from Barley House on to Brubaker’s, and by the time you’re mid-Irish jig at Kevin O’Bryan’s, you’ll be seeing double.