With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, everyone looks to the Irish cultural touchpoints in town. When you are looking for a dive bar that is also Irish, the field goes down considerably. The Dublin Pub is thrown out immediately; it is incredibly Irish, but incredibly lovely as well. Paddy’s Irish Pub falls into the same category at the Dublin Pub. Tremendous and very nice, not especially divey. Harrigan’s Tavern? Difficult to classify it as a dive bar. Their menu is pretty extensive, which digs into the debate of what earns the distinction of a dive bar vs. a diner. At the moment, Harrigan’s still fits into the diner category until someone convinces me otherwise. I would make the same argument for O’Leary’s Pub and Grub, though most of my experience there was admittedly for trivia. Which left us one place suggested to explore: Flanagan’s Pub. This staple is best known for being part of the party atmosphere in Dayton every March 17th, but did you know it was also open the other 364 days of the year?
Flanagan’s Pub (101 E. Stewart St., Dayton, OH 45409) is off the beaten path. But not by much. Nestled on the side of the road with a gas station for a neighbor, it is possible that as you explore the University of Dayton area, you could miss it. It has been a staple in the neighborhood for over twenty-five years, predating most of the shiny businesses that are there now. It has always been a friendly place for hard working people to get a drink, whether your work was done on a factory floor, the streets of the city, or in a library huddled over a book. Before it became the staple it is now; a laborer could get a beer topped with a raw egg and a shot of whiskey for just one dollar. How do you beat that deal? The discount has changed a little: if you are a police officer or firefighter, you can get 20% off your food bill. There are other ways Flanagan’s supports our first responders, but that is for later.
Those that remember the days that Patrick ran the place also remember the beer selection. While favorites like Pabst Blue Ribbon ($2.50 pints every day), Stroh’s, and Red Dog are still available, the rest of the menu has expanded considerably. There are now craft beers of all stripes on tap. From the hoppy Bell’s Two Hearted IPA to the rich, dark smoothness of Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Blackout Stout, there is a little something for everyone. Pull up a stool on Saturday and you can enjoy $3 pints of local favorite Warped Wing all day! They are not afraid to experiment, either. Bubbles, the new rosé cider by Rhinegeist, was provided some space on the lines. There is also still plenty of Schöfferhofer Grapefruit Hefeweizen on draft they would not mind you coming in and finishing off. Possibly for brunch?
Brunches are popping up all over, and Flanagan’s Pub offers a dandy one from 11 AM to 4 PM on Saturdays and Sundays. If you are studying, you can get it (and anything else on the menus) to go back to your dorm. Omelets, sandwiches and specialty Belgian waffles are on the menu, along with any other breakfast food you could want. Their lunch, very popular with the hospital workers, police, and teachers during the week, has just as much variety. Pizza, wings, sandwiches and other bar fare is readily available until 10 PM every day, because you are going to need something to soak up the drinks while you sit and watch the University of Dayton play.
Games pre-empt almost any other event there, and they host the Flyer Feedback Show after each match. Wednesday night trivia, one of their most popular evenings, often loses its home when the Flyers are on the court. If you head in on a Friday or Saturday night, live music will be playing while you enjoy the cozy atmosphere. They are also open to any other events that may suit your fancy. The bar is available for private events. Rates depend on the number of people you are bringing, and what night you plan on hosting your little shindig. A Friday night gathering is going to be more expensive than crashing the place on a Tuesday night. But the opportunity is there, and they may even make a good deal on the food for you!
Of course, all this is nothing compared to the one event they are best known for: St. Patrick’s Day. WTUE makes their headquarters there for the day, and this year they will be joined by ALT 103.9. Doors will open at 6 AM for the festivities that will go on well past the end of the last March Madness first round game. From six to eight AM, the proceeds from the $10 cover fee ($15 if you want in and out privileges) will go to the fine men and women of the Dayton Fire Department. The public will also be allowed to participate in a live auction, also benefitting our friends at the DFD. From 8 AM to 10 AM admission is FREE. That’s right; you can enjoy live local bands and tasty pints of Guinness without having to pay the entry fee. If you need to get out and stretch your legs, maybe give your liver a break, you can catch the shuttle to the Dublin Pub and see what they have to offer. Maybe rush over and see another set by one of your favorite bands. While you are there, you can revisit past St. Patrick’s celebrations by looking over the pictures they have hanging on the wall by the stage. Those images go back decades and are now shown to a new generation of real Irish (for a day) folk.
Sitting on the edge of a neighborhood in the center of a college campus, this emerald has sparkled for everyone. The regulars here still have their voices heard by the new owners, which has kept the feel of the bar the same as it was back in the day. They have had their creations added to the specialty cocktail menu, and they are in just as regularly as always. When the green dust settles on March 18th, and your liver is ready to head back out, be sure to add Flanagan’s Pub to your list of venues. Or just sneak back in for a hearty breakfast the next day. We hear it is the perfect cure for a hangover.
Flanagan’s Pub is located at 101 E. Stewart St, Dayton, OH 45409. They are open Monday through Saturday from 11 AM to 2:30 AM, and Sunday from 11 AM – 4 PM. You can call them at (937) 228-5776, or email them at flanagansdayton (at) gmail (dot) com. You can follow their shenanigans on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.