Ground Zero for Irish luck

Sure, there’ll probably be big, shiny shamrocks strung up at your local ‘hood haunt, but if you feel like celebrating St. Paddy’s Day with a wee bit more panache, let Ms. Go Go guide you to the best Irish isle extravaganzas in Angel City.

Casey’s Irish Pub (613 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles 90017, 213.599.7034, caseysirishpub.comThe inside word is that Downtown’s nightlife  czar Cedd Moses and the Casey’s crew have reserved 30 barrels of Guinness — not to mention Guinness girls, Jameson girls, Bud Light Girls (you get the picture, Go Go’ers…) — for L.A.’s biggest bacchanalia of beer, bagpipes, and beads.

The greening of Grand Avenue between Wilshire and 6th kicks off at  6:00A.M. and ends at 2:00 A.M. the next morning with breakfast, beer, music, parades, leprechauns, beads, beer, lunch, beer, whiskey, music, beer, whiskey, dinner,  whiskey, music, and oh yeah, more beer in between.   Satellite party pods at Pershing Square and Cole’s offer bagpipes and corned beef respectively.  You’ll probably be able to find some beer nearby.

Lucky for all you liquored up lads and lassies, Casey’s has thought ahead so you don’t have to: cabs will be standing by.  Slainte, baby!

Monte Cristo Nightclub (3100 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, 90005, 10:00pm, RSVP required, If leprechauns aren’t your preferred fey fantasy creatures, come visit the Green Fairy at the 4th Annual Mad Hatter’s Absinthe Party for Goth girls and boys.  

In addition to la fee verte, expect a full tea party spread, and the wearing of the green to be augmented with plenty of black as well as extravagant, neo-Victorian and Alice-in-Irishland fantasy wear.

Lush lifers can expect absinthe-dreamy music; DJ Xian and Baron spin ethereal, dark 80’s, neo-classical and more.

Think of it as L.A.’s black Irish celebration….

Mindshare: Los Angeles (L.A. Center Studios, 1037 West 6th Street, Los Angeles 90017; $15-$30. Tix/Directions/Parking :
Info :     If your Irish eyes like your entertainment to be intellectual as well as inebriated, Mindshare Los Angeles is your cup of Tullamore Dew.

The half-priced happy hour  starts at 7:00 with hors d’oeuvres, Irish drinking songs, and “mischievous leprechauns”.  (And really, you wouldn’t want them any other way.)  Costumes encouraged with a prize for the best get-up; no hint as to whether Gaelic garb gets special consideration.   

The St. Paddy’s Day program features “author, entrepreneur and futurist” Alex Lightman on Sea Shepherds, L.A.’s “white witch” Maja D’Aoust on “leprechauns, fairies and mythology’s role in culture”, and “wild animal rescuer and rehabilitator” Victoria Campbell on the Wild Things Sanctuary.

If you’re staying through (or just coming for) the witching hour, Bootie L.A. DJ ShyBoy will lay down mash-ups ’til midnight.

For all Irish-inclined Wild Things, let the wild rumpus start….

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

Go Go’ers, it’s been a helluva decade.  Ring it out in style at one (or if you’ve got the stamina…ALL!) of the following Downtown palaces of drinks, delight and debauchery.

THE BIG TICKET: “1 Ticket, Eight Open Bars” is 213 Downtown L.A.’s promise to help you welcome the New Year in style.   You’ll want to wear your high-heeled sneakers for this celebratory crawl!

Casey’s Irish Pub
GRAM RABBIT on stage and well spirits +11 craft drafts and wine in your hand.
‘Nuff said.

Golden Gopher 
Go Go to the Gopher for open bar all night on well, beer and wine
DJ Mike Turski spins rock ‘n’ roll till 2am

Las Perlas
Flower power your New Year! Open bar features handcrafted Spiced Daisy and popular Las Perlas house Margaritas
Indie Big Sonic Heaven DJ Darren Revell and Kapsoul rock the casa.

Seven Grand
Step into 2011 in high style  with Vieux Carre, Manhattan, Bourbon Fix cocktails inspired by Jim Beam Rye, Wild Turkey Rye, and Buffalo Trace or well spirits (or call for Maker’s Mark) + Deacon Jones All-Star Blues Revue w/ Artwalk Jamal and Special Guests

Broadway Bar
Party like it’s 1999! DJs B-Mix and J-Cru spin 80’s, Disco and Funk while you patronize the all-night open bar on all well products.

Tony’s Saloon
Keep it real at Tony’s; open well bar with select premium cocktails all night +
Raw roots blend of rock and twang with Paul Chesne and Guest DJs

Cole’s French Dip
Get your champers on at Cole’s.  Open Champagne Cocktails  Bitter Bar  featuring cherry, chocolate, mole and other libations  made with your choice of   housemade or branded  bitters.

Cana Rum Bar
Drink in the decade like Papa Hemingway with Cana’s Daiquiri Bar. Fresh handcrafted cocktails served throughout  the night while Icy Hot Club serves up vintage gypsy jazz with a modern twist.

(All-access Downtown L.A. New Year’s Eve party pass; $119 – $250

THE ROGUE’S CHOICE: Roots orchestra Dustbowl Revival will be tearing up the joint for FREE (That’s right!  A No Cover New Year’s Eve!) at  Villains Tavern.  The raucous revivalists go on at 9:00p.m.; the temple of boozy toasts starts serving free champagne after 10:00 p.m. (1356 Palmetto Street, 91003, 213.613.0766,

IF THE COCKTAIL IS KINGCocktalian purists will want to head to the Varnish  to welcome the new with expertly handcrafted cocktails and a bottomless Bols Genever punch.  The Apple Sisters comedy trio (“Sarah Silverman meets the Shaggs” as described by the L.A. Times) will count down to the midnight champagne toast.  Contact general manager Chris Bostick to make reservations. (9:00 – 2:00 a.m. $119.  118 East 6th Street,   213.622. 9999

IF LUCK IS ON YOUR SIDEPresale tix to the Edison‘s ever-elegant New Year’s Eve event  have been snapped up but it’s worth stopping by the palace of steampunk at 10:00 p.m. for a chance to snag any unclaimed tickets.   The $75 billet  includes a midnight champagne toast, midnight tray passed dessert and performances by DJ James Spooner and two Stilters (that’s stilt-walkers to the uninitiated) PLUS a rare chance to see the Yard Dogs Road Show, a traveling cabaret self-described as a “love letter from the bordello of your imagination.”  Yes, you hope that Lady Luck smiles on you at 10:00…. (Yard Dogs Road Show performs at 10:00 and at 11:45;   $75; 108 West 2nd Street, 90012; 213.613.0000;


***Ride with the Angels — On New Year’s Eve only, the Angels Flight railway fare will be a penny to commemorate the 109th anniversary of the opening of the “World’s Shortest Railway” December 31st, 1901.   Angels Flight will maintain its regular 16 hour schedule that day, from 6:45am to 10:00pm.  A one way ride on the 298 foot railway currently costs 25 cents, $1 for five rides, or 40 rides for $7.50.  (351 South Hill Street, 213.626.1901.)

***Go Metro — Holiday Service FREE all night so no need to drink and drive, Go Go’ers!

***AAA Tow Service —  AAA is offering free towing for the 14th year in a row. Between 6pm and 6am December 31 to January 1, call 1-800-400-4AAA and ask for a “tipsy tow”. This does not include rides for passengers, and is a one-way tow up to seven miles. Anything after seven miles will be charged at normal rates. You do not have to be a member of AAA to use the free towing.

Bloody good.... (Photo by Ryan Miller)

Unless you have a strong stomach, you’ll probably want to eat lightly, if at all, before toodling down to see The Lieutenant of Inishmore, the Tony Award-nominated dark comedy that is also a compelling argument for why Irish terrorists shouldn’t have pets.

In addition to an Olivier  (a British Tony) for Lieutenant... and an Oscar for In Bruges, playwright/screenwriter Martin McDonough (The Pillowman) has the distinction of writing the bloodiest stage production since Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.  The production, which opens June 30th, goes through buckets of blood every performance (twelve gallons to be exact).   Scarlet  sprays liberally across the stage amidst wicked deeds and wickedly funny dialogue voiced by Chris Pine (Star Trek), the titular Lieutenant too “mad” for the IRA, as well as his hapless family, his fellow, dim-witted torturers, and terrorist groupie Zoe Perry.   It goes without saying… don’t bring the kids.

You’ll be wanting a wee dram to steady your nerves after spending so much quality time with the vengeful Lieutenant and the bloodthirsty boyos.  There’s no better place than the dark and soothing basement hideout known as Casey’s Irish Pub. Tucked away in one of the  establishment’s shadowy corners, you can  dim the memory of that red-washed stage with a John Jameson served neat or ponder the fragile nature of  peace over a perfectly pulled pint.

Not that you need an excuse for the latter….

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….


The Petrojvic Blasting Company (Photograph by Tyler Golden)


In life, there are certain endeavors  that demand boldness, a devil-may-care attitude, a leap of faith: skydiving, bull running, driving in Bombay.   

Enter the Pickle Back, the cliff dive of drinks: a shot of Jamison accompanied by a “back” of briny pickle juice.  According to the bad boys at Casey’s Irish Pub downtown, the saltiness of the juice adds an oh-so-piquant counterpoint to the sweetness of the Jameson.   The suggested imbibing technique?   “Sip and sip or slam and sip but never slam and slam.”  Okay, no danger of the latter.    

You can try a Pickle Back at Casey’s for $11 tonight; $2 off the usual price.  What food could possibly stand up to this daunting drink combo?  Casey’s suggests their Black and Blue Burger (“special blackening spices” and melting Maytag bleu cheese on top) as the perfect accompaniment. ($11.50)  Yes, Go Go’ers, tonight, salt is your friend.   

You may feel daring enough to drive a demolition derby after the Pickle Back.  Please don’t, you’ve been drinking.   

Instead, walk over to the Mezz at the Alexandria Hotel for the Petrojvic Blasting Company‘s “celebration of  its inaugural phonographic endeavor” A History of Public Relations Dilemmae.  The brass-heavy band (which includes accordion and sousaphone) is releasing their first record of Balkan-inspired music a month before the downtown fave heads for Europe.   Polka-ing optional but undoubtedly encouraged.   

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….