You won’t find any green beer on tap at Manitou Station this St. Patrick’s Day. “We’re just the kind of place that doesn’t have to put leprechauns and shamrocks up all over,” says co-owner Jake McKeague. “We’re as authentic as you can get. Our back bar is a loose re-creation of a back bar at a pub on the west coast of Ireland.”
White Bear Lake’s favorite Irish bar likes to keep things traditional year-round with pub staples like shepherd’s pie and bangers-and-mash on the menu. Of course, come St. Patrick’s Day, the pub does step it up a bit with a celebration complete with Irish influenced music along with a bagpiper, as well as their award-winning corned beef and cabbage dinner. The restaurant went through more than 600 pounds of corned beef over the course of St. Patrick’s Day week last year, and McKeague doesn’t anticipate that things will slow down this time around; he’s planning to have it on the menu the entire week of St. Patrick’s Day again this year. “We might put it on the menu permanently,” he says.
As for what makes the dish so delicious, McKeague’s lips are sealed—almost. “I can tell you this,” he says, “the secret’s in the sauce.”