Already ’Cracken: Closed on big day, pub gets party started
by Geoff Folsom
gfolsom@mdjonline.com
March 16, 2013 12:23 AM | 3622 views | 1 1 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Trisha Dowling, center, dons a St. Patrick’s Day shirt and hat as she works behind the bar at Johnnie MacCracken’s Celtic Pub near the Marietta Square, which started a party Friday that continues today.<br>Staff/Emily Barnes
Trisha Dowling, center, dons a St. Patrick’s Day shirt and hat as she works behind the bar at Johnnie MacCracken’s Celtic Pub near the Marietta Square, which started a party Friday that continues today.
Staff/Emily Barnes
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Gary Leak, owner of Johnnie MacCracken’s Celtic Pub, reads during a benediction for fallen Marietta firefighter Lonnie Nutt, who died recently of an apparent heart attack while helping victims of a wreck.<br>Staff/Emily Barnes
Gary Leak, owner of Johnnie MacCracken’s Celtic Pub, reads during a benediction for fallen Marietta firefighter Lonnie Nutt, who died recently of an apparent heart attack while helping victims of a wreck.
Staff/Emily Barnes
slideshow
Because just over half its sales are from alcohol, as opposed to food, Johnnie MacCracken’s Celtic Pub legally won’t be allowed to open Sunday, St. Patrick’s Day. So to make up for it, the bar is holding two days of celebration for its signature holiday.

MacCracken’s owner Gary Leak said the bar will typically ring up $35,000 in sales on St. Patrick’s Day. They do so well that they don’t even bother advertising it anymore.

“There probably isn’t a restaurant in Cobb County doing that on a single day,” he said. “For what we are, we are the party.”

Bartender Ashley Tatz said MacCracken’s, at 15 Atlanta St. in Marietta, will open early at 10 a.m. today, after kicking things off on Friday. Both days, it has several bands playing at the same time around the building, five bars open plus an outdoor “jockey box” to provide cold beer from kegs. The bar will also have a buffet with favorites like shepherd’s pie and bangers and mash.

“It’s not crazy like fighting, but it’s very busy,” Tatz said.

But the celebration isn’t all fun. Each year, Leak said the bar has a benediction to pay tribute to a community member. Twice Friday, and again at 6 and 9 p.m. today, MacCracken’s is honoring Marietta Fire Engineer Lonnie Nutt, who died after responding to a March 7 car accident on Whitlock Avenue. He is believed to be the first Marietta firefighter to die in the line of duty.

“I come from a family of Protestants and Catholics, and I look at it more as a religious holiday,” Leak said.

Keegan’s Irish Pub, which has operated a location at 1625 Ridenour Blvd. in Kennesaw for five years, will have its first St. Patrick’s Day at its new bar in east Cobb at 4401 Shallowford Road. East Cobb general manager Brad Jackson said the party starts at 4 p.m. today and 2 p.m. on Sunday. It will also feature a live band and Irish food.

“We’ve gotten nothing but phone calls, feedback, people asking, what are you doing?” Jackson said. “It’s going to be very, very busy.”

Padriac’s, at 2460 Cumberland Parkway in Vinings, is in its 15th year of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. It will feature Irish food, a live band and even green beer. But owner Ernie Franchell said you will have to come on Sunday to take part. He doesn’t want to make St. Patrick’s Day an all-weekend affair.

“I’ve always done it that way,” he said. “I don’t look to make $1 million. I think it’s important to honor St. Patrick.”

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March 16, 2013
Nothing better than a holiday just for drinking and getting drunk.
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