This coming St. Patrick's Day, Flanagan's Pub & Grill turns 21. If you are looking for an Irish good time on this festive holiday, they are ready for you. But then, every day is a fine day to go to Flanagan's.
Pub is short for Public Houses, which distinguished them as a place where all were welcome, unlike the more affluent "Private Houses" which charged membership fees. When 19th century British legislation banned pubs it became a point of pride to keep them going in Ireland. Now, "Irish Pub" evokes a welcoming, festive, atmosphere that Flanagan's owners, Doug and Penny, are proud to offer the area.
A long heritage
It is no surprise that proprietors Doug and Penny have blended Adirondack authenticity into their pub. Irishtown is nearby!
Part of the history of the area is the period from 1840 to 1860, when large numbers of Irish immigrants moved through New York City and Boston to settle in what is now the Minerva area. It was known as Irishtown.
This was a transitional time, when the local forests had been logged and the lumberjacks moved further west. The cleared land they left behind was attractive to aspiring farmers, who left big city life and raised large families, which were assets in agrarian pursuits. By 1865 the population numbered 1082, with the majority of them Irish. Minerva's school colors were emerald green and white, nicknamed the "Fighting Irish."
So an Irish pub fits right in.
The building began as Wilson's Restaurant but became Flanagan's Bar in 1952. The simple menu was deli sandwiches. In 1986 a new owner added bar classics like pizza, wings, and burgers. It wasn't until 1997 that Doug King and Penny Edenfield purchased Flanagan's and began a series of renovations. The kitchen was moved to a new and larger location and completely updated. This added hot sandwiches and appetizers to the lineup.
The look they have now started in 2002, with lots of local help. The dining room acquired local cedar ceiling beams and columns, then rustic bar stools and booths. A deck was added in the back for outdoor dining. Doug built the booths and tables. Doug and Penny are celebrating their 21st Anniversary of the pub with pride in the Adirondack feel they have created, inside and out.
Flanagan's is now a center of celebration.
That special day
It began as a Catholic feast day in the 17th century, honoring Ireland's own Saint Patrick, who was credited with popularizing three-leaf clovers to explain the Trinity and driving all the snakes from Ireland. Once the Irish got St. Patrick’s Day, which falls during Lent, they developed a new tradition of attending church in the morning and then dancing, drinking, and feasting in the afternoon.
Because when all was said and done, this was, and is, an Irish holiday. "Giving things up" is not in the right spirit.
One Flanagan's touch is themed desserts, as seen in this edible "pot o' gold" from a previous St. Patrick's Day celebration. I sat down with Penny to ask about what is on the schedule for this year.
"Corned beef and cabbage, of course! Or a Shepherd's Pie with soup and salad. Drink specials, including Guinness pints for three dollars."
This is in addition to their regular menu, with its variety of appetizers, main dishes, and those wonderful desserts. I told her how much I love the coconut shrimp appetizers, and that they are gluten-free. She confided they were a favorite of hers, too.
"Everyone gets into the spirit. We always decorate the place with lots of green things."
"Irish coffee and Irish whiskey specials. Also, since it is our 21st anniversary and St Pat's falls on a Saturday this year, we are extending it to the whole weekend."
I think that's a fine idea. St. Patrick's Day(s).
Doing it right
Every time I have stopped by Flanagan's after a hike or snowshoe, I've had a great meal. But this is more than a fine pub and local restaurant. Flanagan's really is a neighborhood gathering place.
They have a special Father's Day and Mother's Day menu. Groups meet there for activities. Everyone is welcome. Even folks who aren't Irish.
"I tell people we're like Cheers," Penny said with a laugh. "We know most people's names, and if you are new, come on by and introduce yourself."
You won't be a stranger for long.
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