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Photo Courtesy of Jared Davidson

A Completely Sober Review of St. Paddy’s Day at the Clocktower Pub in Westboro

By Shawn Anctil on March 18, 2013


What’s the most rational thing to do on St. Paddy’s Day for a guy who doesn’t drink and doesn’t fight? Go to a gastro-pub and listen to rowdy Irish music, obviously.

The last time I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day was in St. John’s, where my night was a blur of green beer, green hats, free Miller t-shirts (because Irish) and two bars (I’m guessing on that last one).

Of course, one of the fun parts about March 17th is that, when done right, you can never accurately compare this year’s festivities to any other year’s shenanigans  When celebrated perfectly, you deliberately forget it for years to come until that unexpected package shows up on your doorstep and starts asking for child support (because Irish).

When Jared and I arrived the place was packed, but a seat was available by the stage beside the speaker. One of the band members of Paddy’s Hangover—I think I overheard a customer call him Robbie—who made a joke about how close the speaker was to our table. The music promptly started and we were treated to foot stomping shanties intended to magically sweep us away to a fishing village in Eire.

This is the part of the night where I would order something like “Leperchaun’s Legs”—green chicken wings—with a side of Guinness and Jameson’s. Instead I hit the water like a champ and ordered a warm goat cheese salad. Jared tells me the beer was delicious and I believe him because he laughed uncomfortably at the waitress when she asked him if he wanted more, suggesting that he foresaw the danger in that course of action.

That’s around the time when some customer started swining a green t-shirt around his head doing a stompy dance that I can only describe as “the folksy-goosestep.” I saw him speaking with Robbie from Paddy’s Hangover, so in keeping with my obsessive need to find connections, I’m going to say that he was the band’s dancer.

Did I mention that Jared and I had our laptops open? Jared kept insisting that I try the new Sim City—the latest installation of city building simulators that allows you to do “everything you wanted to do in previous Sim Cities.” Except invade other neighbourhoods, apparently.

To be honest, I was only sort of listening to him because “Dirty Ol’ Town” was playing and it triggered a memory from St. Patrick’s Day last my my Newfoundland friends and I tried to get the band to play Dirty Ol’ Town twenty times in the same night.

As has come to be expected from The Clocktower, the food was really good and the service was great. Our green-hatted waitress patiently accommodated our repeated requests for WiFi access and she was quick to bring anything we asked for even though people were falling over themselves dodging the kicks of The Folksy Goosestepper.

And while I may not get to enjoy a debilitating hangover today, I take comfort in knowing that I may have at least punctured my ear drum from sitting so close to the stage.