By Morgan Bryce
Downtown Opelika’s Irish Bred Pub will hold a St. Patrick’s Day Street Festival this Saturday, beginning at 11 a.m.
South Railroad Ave. and the segment of Ninth Street to Avenue A will be closed off until 7 p.m. for the event, which will feature food, drinks, traditional Irish dancing, fun activities for both adults and children, as well as live music.
IBP co-owner Joe Garofalo said he and General Manager/co-owner Chris McBride want the celebration to not only tap into the spirit of the holiday, but serve as a grand re-opening for the establishment they started together nearly eight years ago.
“A pub is short for a public house, a place where people gather and congregate, which is the vibe I was going for originally (when it opened). I want this place to have something for everybody,” Garofalo said. “Whether it’s a family, a college kid, a couple or a bunch of friends going out, I want it to have multiple atmospheres for them to feel comfortable. It’s up to us to build community, because that’s something our country is lacking in (right now).”
During the last four months, Garofalo said he and McBride have been busy revamping the restaurant’s overall layout, appearance, atmosphere and menu, which will retain its signature Irish-influenced dishes.
Along with the physical changes will be the addition of entertainment at the restaurant, which will include trivia night on Wednesdays, karaoke/open mic on Thursdays, live local bands on Fridays and deejays on Saturdays.
“The upstairs (of IBP) was the rock-and-roll place of downtown … we were a place for people to get together and have fun. My goal is to make it that way again,” Garofalo said.
Garofalo hinted that he is exploring the possibility of constructing a permanent outdoor stage behind the restaurant later this year to hold family-friendly events, concerts and more.
For more information and updates about the event, like and follow the restaurant’s Facebook page or call 334-363-2235. IBP is located at 833 S. Railroad Ave.