The day starts with an Irish breakfast, and as Scotty Marathas, co-owner of Meg’s, tells us, “From that point, we have Irish dancers, bagpipes, all your traditional Irish food, inside and out. Plenty of green beer and Guinness.” There is Irish entertainment throughout the day and then, in the evening, the streets are closed for their big street party featuring Collie Buddz and Gorilla Squad.

If you’ve never been, it is a great time for everyone. Dressed in green and fun costumes, people of all ages come for breakfast then stay to enjoy the dancers and live music. You’ll see more than one leprechaun to be sure, likely carrying a pint of Guinness. Marathas adds, “You know, we hold the event and get it going, but much of downtown rallies around it. Most everyone appreciates and embraces it. It has become much bigger than just Meg O’Malley’s. It is truly a
downtown event.”

But this article is meant to be about the food, so we asked Chef Matt Elmer about the traditional staples of the day. “You mean besides the thousands of pounds of cabbage and potatoes?” he said with a laugh. “We’re very proud of the corned beef. It’s taken us quite some time to fine-tune what we do, but we take the corned beef in a raw state, cook it over six hours, and then chill it. We then slice it and reserve the very lean pieces for the dinner plates. We take the less lean pieces for our corned beef sandwiches.” Marathas adds, “It is our Kilkenny. If you haven’t had one of those, I think it’s one of the best sandwiches you’ll ever eat.” Looking at the reviews on social media, it seems the public would agree.

“We also do shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash and our Paddy’s pot pie, which is our chicken pot pie. There’s something for everyone if you like the Irish favorites, but there’s much more here,” Elmer said.

Marathas adds, “I had a gentleman in from Dublin the other day; he gave me the greatest compliment. He said, ‘It feels like I am at home here. This is spot on.’ We put a lot into the history and try to make it authentic, and we keep trying to get better every day.” 

Get Your Irish on!

Tuesday evenings feature Meg’s Session musicians. Come hear traditional Irish music from 6 to 9 p.m. The first Tuesday of every month brings The Craic; story time in Irish heritage. It’s a fun gathering to learn the history and lore of Ireland. Weekends often showcase Irish entertainment, too. Check for a current schedule of events.

19th Annual St.Patrick’s day celebration

Downtown Melbourne’s 19th annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, Shamrockin’ Number 19, will take place on Saturday, March 17, featuring the 25th annual Ancient Order of Hibernians Parade on New Haven Avenue.