It was the BID’s 2nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Grand Street Pub Crawl, and the bartenders came in early, hangovers and all, to set up once again for an early Sunday.
“Personally, I get really excited about this celebration even though I’m not Irish and I don’t really follow religion,” said Huckleberry Bar general manager Juan Castillo. “I love this concept of the ‘luck of the Irish,’ and I try to bring the spirit and keep it for the rest of the year to see if I get my pot of gold.”
Castillo has been with the bar for the last five years, and supports the neighborhood development programs as they bring in big business for the holiday.
“We did it last year and it was a huge hit,” he said. “I started my shift at 8 and by the time I got here we had already ran out of Guinness.”
This year he stocked up with 10 cases, 240 beers, of the Irish draft for the festivities.
The Grand Street BID has been working to promote the strip. It hosted a Logo Design Competition earlier this year and the Holiday Window Display Competition last December.
According to Artineh Havan, director for the BID, the pub-crawl has not only brought patrons out to the bars in the area, but it also produced foot traffic for storefronts in the surrounding district.
“St. Patrick’s Day was a great opportunity to highlight the wonderful eating and drinking establishments in the Grand Street BID,” Havan said. “The promotional activity is a testament to the impressive solidarity among our businesses. Our aspiration is that the increased foot traffic increased exposure to out vibrant community.”
Greer Keeble runs the doggie daycare Your Spoiled Pets, 624 Grand Street, with her husband.
“The pub crawl gives them entertainment,” Keeble said of the passersby that stop at their dog loft overlooking Grand Street. “Since it’s a big window where the dogs can look out, people definitely, whether part of the bar crawl or not, have been stopping by and laughing and tormenting, so I guess we can be viewed as some entertainment.”
The neighborhood is often in need of Sunday foot traffic, and as Greer is a strong supporter of the BID’s weekend events, she explained that businesses surrounding the crawl see financial benefits as well.
“People drinking over at the bar have to walk by to the next bar, and I have seen people stop by to check out our price lists posted out front,” she said. “Also, having the BID come around and clean up the sidewalks is really great because because there’s a lot of litterbugs.”