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Lodi taps into Irish spirit for St. Patrick's Day

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Posted: Sunday, March 12, 2017 8:00 am

St. Patrick’s Day is Friday, and Lodi’s gearing up to celebrate Irish-American music, food and culture from dawn to dusk — and in a couple of cases, for more than one day.

For Janet and Gary Crow of Richmaid, March 17 is an annual event.

“We have a big blowout every St. Paddy’s and probably serve more corned beef and cabbage than anyone else in Lodi,” Janet Crow said.

By “more,” she means 600 pounds of corned beef, she added.

They’ll be slinging corned beef hash for breakfast, corned beef reubens for lunch, and corned beef and cabbage for dinner on Friday and Saturday.

Richmaid will also serve up potatoes, carrots, shamrock cake and mint chip ice cream. The shamrock cake is green, Crow said.

“We’re going to keep everything green. Green beer, green dessert,” she said.

The employees will dress up, the restaurant will be decked out in green decor, and there will be a blow-up leprechaun outside.

Though Janet Crow isn’t Irish, she did grow up around the corner from a Galt neighborhood that celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, well, religiously. So when the Crows bought Richmaid 19 years ago, they made it a big day for the restaurant.

“It was just a fun holiday,” she said.

Green is the theme for students at Lodi Unified School District on Friday, too.

“Lodi Unified schools will be serving a ‘green take over’ at lunch time in the cafeteria, featuring all fruits and vegetables that are green on the salad bar,” said Melissa Davey-Allen, a nutrition specialist at the district. “It may not be green beer, but it is a healthy family friendly activity going on that day.”

Slightly less healthy but no less delicious is the Bailey’s Irish Cream ice cream available all month at Double Dip Gallery on Pine Street.

At Ollie’s Pub on School Street, St. Patrick’s Day is a major event. The party will be even bigger this year because St. Paddy’s falls on a Friday, owner Justin O’Byrne said.

On Friday, the pub will open at 9 a.m. A bagpiper will provide music throughout the day, along with Philip Noone, a musician O’Byrne met in Ireland who has traveled to Lodi for the holiday. Central Valley natives Dive Bar Poets will provide music into the night.

“We’re redoing the party again on Saturday night,” O’Byrne said — with Philip Noone again and the 209 All Stars. He’s calling the “day after” party “St. Pastrick’s Day.”

People of all ages come out to Ollie’s every year for good music, good drinks and good company, he said — along the lines of what a pub in Ireland is like.

Ollie’s isn’t waiting until Friday to start the fun. On Sunday, March 12, a Guinness representative will visit the pub and bring along glasses and an etching machine. Starting at 2 p.m., for either two hours or until the supply is gone, anyone who buys a pint of Guinness will receive a glass with custom etching.

Then, there will be themed Guinness specials all week until the big day, O’Byrne said.

“It’s like the big kid Christmas Day,” he quipped.

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