Where You're Drinking: St. Patrick's Day Edition

You may think any old Irish bar will do for St. Patrick's Day. You're wrong.

You know the old adage: Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day. That holds true for nightlife establishments, as well, from fancy hotel bars to drag queen venues. While your neighborhood drinking hole could certainly serve the purpose this St. Pat's, with green beer and plastic leprechaun hats a'plenty, we're here to give you a few more (creative) options for your St. Patrick's partying pleasure.

At the sleek Cityscape Bar, across from the Merchandise Mart on the 15th floor of the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza, you'll get a prime view of the green Chicago River while sipping on special St. Pat's concoctions. From Friday, March 13 through Tuesday, March 17, Cityscape will serve Emerald Isle-inspired cocktails, such as the "Leprechaun-tini," a blend of Skyy Citrus vodka, Midori melon liqueur and a splash of Sprite ($6), the appealingly named "Leprechaun Spit," with Irish whiskey and Apple Pucker schnapps ($6), and the "Celtic Come-On," boasting Frangelico, Bailey's Irish Cream and Jameson whiskey, topped with whipped cream ($6). Complimentary appetizers, including mini corned beef sandwiches, Guinness barbecue wings and vegetable crudites, will be offered from 5-7:30PM each day, as well.

Lakeview's Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club will catch the Irish spirit on St. Patrick's Day with special green libations, an Irish-themed menu and, of course, performances by the "Kit Kat Divas" throughout the evening on Tuesday, March 17. The half-priced ($5.50) list of emerald-hued cocktails includes the "Big Apple," "Mint Chip," "Melon Ball" and "Kit Kat" martinis, as well as mojitos and margaritas. Kit Kat chef Matt Stovey will cook up such Celtic-inspired classics as truffled Yukon gold potato pancakes with apple compote and creme fraiche with chive ($9), house-brined corned beef and cabbage with Dijon mustard-crisped roasted potato ($18), and Bailey's-infused New York cheesecake ($8).

And, if you insist on going the Irish pub route, better make it a good one. Head to Timothy O'Toole's in Streeterville for the authentic Ireland experience, complete with special food and drink items, festive contests ("reddest hair," "greenest eyes," "biggest beer belly" and the like) and live entertainment from Friday, March 13 through Tuesday, March 17. Kicking off the five-day party on Friday will be Timothy O'Toole's resident leprechaun, who will sell shots and pass out swag starting at 6PM. The pub will celebrate the downtown St. Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday starting at 8AM (yes, you read that right). The leprechaun will be back, and bagpipers will perform from 4-6PM. The pub will offer a bus trip (with beverages, $15) to the South Side Irish Parade on Sunday, leaving at 10AM and returning at 3PM. And on Tuesday, the St. Patrick's celebration will culminate in another leprechaun appearance beginning at 4PM and a bagpiper performance from 6-8PM. Food and drink specials throughout the festivities will include favorites like corned beef and cabbage ($11.99), Guinness beef stew ($11.99), Irish apple martinis ($8) and, of course, all the green beer you can drink ($3.50 pints, $5.50 jumbos and $13 pitchers).

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