UPDATE: THE MEETUP TIME IS NOW 12:00 NOON BECAUSE FADO'S PUB IS HOSTING A LARGE CHARITY EVENT THAT STARTS AT 1:00 PM. WE NEED TO LEAVE FADO'S BEFORE IT GETS TOO CROWDED.
Our Irish Pub Walk will now also serve as a Walk of Remembrance for Jeremiah, Neal's beloved furry hat. Full details on the separate event notice:
Let's get the jump on the usual St. Patrick's Day crowd of raucous amateurs who jam the Irish pubs on March 17.
We don't need St. Patricks Day to enjoy a good Irish pub where the atmosphere is welcoming with food and drinks that warm the soul and nourish the body, especially during winter. Fortunately, Annapolis has three authentic Irish pubs (and another wannabe fourth) within a one-mile walk down Main St. from the Westin Hotel past Church Circle to the City Dock, and then back up to State Circle for the return journey. The food and drink at the four pubs we visit is generally rated quite high on Yelp, and we'll get some fresh air and exercise along the way to justify our claim to be an "active recreation" group.
This pub walk route travels through the center of historic Annapolis, featuring several of the sights we all enjoy. Total walking distance on the street will be about three miles, plus whatever distance you travel back and forth to the restrooms after a few pints. You can even ride a FREE circulator bus back to where we start if the walk is too much.
FREE parking is available in the large lots next to the Maryland Hall for Creative Arts, about two blocks away from Fado's where we begin. Check out the location and details below:
The Walking Route and Pubs to Visit
Our route and timing are flexible, depending on how things go in the spirit of the moment. We'll probably spend at least one hour at each pub to enjoy what it has to offer in the way of food and drink. Anybody who wants to spend more or less time can easily catch up with us since all these pubs are within blocks of each other.
Fado's -- Our meetup point to start the walk is Fado Irish Pub & Restaurant. Although it's part of a chain and fairly new in a modern building, the pub's interior was brought over from Ireland to give it the right feel. The food and service are usually very good. It's a nice place to gather and get in the mood for our walk.
Castlebay Irish Pub -- Castlebay is on Main St. in the center of historic Annapolis, almost a mile from Fado's. It features the traditional Irish pub look with partitions, stained glass, and mahogany. They claim to pour the best pint of Guinness (just like all the other pubs) and they brew their own Three Nuns ale. Yelp gives Castlebay mixed reviews for its food, but the beer rates well.
McGarvey's Saloon & Oyster Bar -- McGarvey's is just one block from Castlebay, so not much of a walk to get there. McGarvey's doesn't really bill itself as an authentic Irish pub, but it has the right name, the right look, and a perfect historic location on Market Place at City Dock. People on Yelp give it high marks for the oysters, crab dip, good beer, and comfy old saloon ambience. So McGarvey's is Irish enough for us to add to our tour.
Galway Bay Irish Pub -- Saving the best for last, Galway Bay is the favorite Irish pub for most people. It's on Maryland Ave. near State Circle, about four blocks from McGarvey's and City Dock. The food is very tasty Irish-inspired fare, and the look and feel are warm and friendly. And of course, Galway Bay serves the usual selection of Irish beers. Hopefully, we'll be there before the main dinner crowd for those of us who want something good to eat.
Return to the Starting Point
When people are ready to depart Galway Bay, we'll plan to walk or take the free bus back to the Westin Circle and Fado's where we started our journey and parked our cars. The walk is less than a mile and the bus runs every 15 minutes or so.
Weather shouldn't be a big problem for this event. However, I'll send out an email by 10:00 am on Saturday morning if we need to cancel or change plans. Call Jake at[masked] if you need to find us. I can't always answer my phone at meetups, but you can try.
I hope to see you there!