Many students like to spend their down time out on the town enjoying a couple of drinks. But being students, money is not always a luxury that can be spent on bars and clubs every night.
“Any establishment can refuse entry if you’ve been drinking before you come,” said Ashley Johns, a bartender at E.P. Taylor’s.
So knowing that, pre-drinking is out of the question. If you want to run the risk of saving money by pre-drinking beforehand then it could end up ruining the original plan of enjoying a night away from the house. But there are some drinks that people can purchase to get the most out of their money.
The cheapest way to save money is to go to bars or clubs that have special deals on specific nights, such as at E.P. Taylor’s. They have Big Mug Mondays, Tuesday $3.75 rail drinks and Friday pints
Beer - a favourite drink amongst students on campus.
Story and images by Kyle Reynolds
While a guitarist belts out songs to the likes of CCR and The Doors, about three dozen students enjoy a pint (or two) of cold beer, freshly-poured by bartender Amanda Wemdelgass.
A devoted part-time employee at E.P Taylor’s for two years now, Wemdelgass has seen and experienced everything from the most hectic pub events to inebriated students forced to deal with campus security or police.
“It’s all part of the job,” said the 26-year old social butterfly. “Some days are stressful and full of drama, while others are fun and laid-back. It’s a social atmosphere, which makes the job interesting.”
A student ordered a pint of Guinness and within 30 seconds Wemdelgass had grabbed a chilled glass from the refrigerator, poured the brew with admirable speed and precision, and the drink was on the counter ready to go.
“If you want to be a bartender, I can’t stress enough how important it is to be organized and know your drinks,” said Wemdelgass. “We may make it look easy, but it’s not always the most glamourous job. I find it’s key to be friendly, approachable and humourous. And math skills always come in handy.”
According to Iain Donnell, a student who grabs a drink at least once a week from E.P Taylor’s, the only thing he expects from a bartender is to be quick on their feet and aware of their surroundings.
“It’s not about how fast they can get me a drink, but it’s how fast they can acknowledge the fact that I’m there,” said Donnell. “Sometimes people show up after you and somehow get drinks before you, but a good bartender will at least acknowledge that you are there and will get to you as soon as they can.”
We’re days away from one of the most exciting holidays for beer lovers. Saint Patrick’s Day falls on a Thursday this year and students are already preparing for the annual March 17th holiday.
You may already be seeing the green cupcakes, shamrocks and “Kiss me, I’m Irish” signs, but the holiday goes a little deeper than just this.
Patrick was one of the oldest saints in Ireland and died in the fifth century. Today, we, along with the United States and Australia, take to the streets and pubs of our region to honour his name and celebrate Irish culture.
Traditionally, it is a day of feast, including a church service and dancing along to the bagpipes and drums, but today it seems more about the marketing of beers on tap and green food dye.
Leo O’Toole, owner of The Dubliner Irish Pub and Restaurant in Oshawa, explains that although all may celebrate it, few actually know the story.
“Most people haven’t got a clue about the history behind it,” he laughs. “But we do get ages all across the board coming in to celebrate, from people in their twenties to sixties and seventies.”
The native Irishman says it’s the biggest drinking day next to New Year’s Eve.
“Canadians do it a little bigger. They’re good beer drinkers and just want to have fun to some Irish music.”
Click below to hear O’Toole’s take on how Ireland and Canada celebrate the holiday.
Durham College is having its own celebrations. On Thursday you can join in on some Irish jigs at E.P. Taylor’s at 2 p.m., get your face painted at 7 p.m. and top your night off with some beer drinking at 10 p.m.
E.P Taylor’s and Shagwells on the Ridge are not the only places you can get green beer and celebrate all things Irish this Wednesday. The Durham Region has many different pubs that have great plans for this St. Patrick’s Day.
The Waltzing Weasel
The Waltzing Weasel is a local Oshawa pub whose goal is to provide their patrons with the best genuine pub experience possible this side of the Atlantic.
They received the Reader’s Choice Award for the best pub in Durham Region and were voted to have the best wings in Durham back in 2005.
The menu ranges from traditional Irish dishes, like steak & kidney pie and deli-style corned beef to pub style food like fish n’ chips and chicken pot pie. They also have desserts that will send your sweet tooth to heaven, including deep fried Mars bars and cheesecake with your choice of strawberry, chocolate, cherry or caramel toppings.
This St. Patrick’s day the Weasel will be staying open later then usual to meet the needs of the customers that come in.
“To start the day off we have a traditional Irish fair, created by our chef. We’re doing corn beef, cabbage, boiled potatoes and all that stuff,” said Veronica Harry, staff member at The Waltzing Weasel. “We have entertainment by Billy Brando, he is doing a matinee show from three to six and then he is coming back in at nine o clock.”
This is Whitby’s most unique and charming Irish Style Pub. Offering traditional (and not so traditional) delicious home cooked food along with the finest range of wines, spirits and draught beers.
With their Harry Potter (even though he is British) vibe, and their Irish menu, J.P Fitzpatrick’s is the place to go this St. Patrick’s Day. This Wednesday you can come out and enjoy live music and Irish traditions.
The menu at Fitzpatrick’s has many traditional meals including the Irish favourite, the boxty. Boxty is an old traditional Irish recipe using a blend of mashed and shredded potato, simply served with salt and pepper and then stone-baked on an open fire. The boxties at this pub however are a little different, and lighter than the original. It is filled with mozzarella, cheddar, swiss cheese and a choice of one of the following: grilled chicken, roasted vegetable, grilled steak, Irish pork sausage, peameal bacon or sautéed shrimp.
Get those green outfits out of the closet and start practicing your beer drinking skills because St Patrick’s Day is getting closer.
A celebratory cheers with a St. Patrick's Day mug
The big day isn’t until next Wednesday but EP Taylor’s is offering lots of events worth mentioning. According to Student Centre Manager Will Ellis, “EP’s is the place to be for these events.”
Starting next Tuesday, March 16th, there is an all day St. Paddy’s events at EP’s. Starting from eleven to noon there will be a special SHWAtalk with prizes to be won. From noon till one you can see singer/songwriter and guitarist Sean Roberts Live. Two until four there will be a local campus act, and from eight to midnight musician, Gibbran and his band will be performing.
On Wednesday March 17th from noon until two, there will be a SHWAtalk with more prizes to be given away. From 2-4 there will be more on campus talent and a St. Paddy’s pub night later on.
But Ellis says that there is one thing that everyone will be interested in.
“Everytime someone walks into the pub they will be able to fill out a ballet to be entered to win a prize.”
To find out what the big prize and the food deals that will be offered, listen to this clip of Ellis.
Some St. Patrick's Day decorations
To get prepared for the big day there is a few things everyone should know.
1) First off the most important part of St. Patrick’s Day, green beer! To make your own simply get a glass, put a drop of green food coloring in it and fill the cup with beer.
2) St. Patrick’s Day parades are held all over the world and in Canada alone are offered in Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec, Toronto and Vancouver. The Toronto parade will start at noon on Sunday March 14th and will run from Bloor down Yonge and finish at Queen St. at Nathan Philip Square.
3) In 2006, 88 million dollars were spent on importing spirits and beer from Ireland to Canada according to statistics Canada.
Not to forget a good joke! Here’s an Irish joke that will have all your friends laughing (when they have some beer in their system of course!)
Paddy was shaving when he knocked the mirror off the shelf and it fell to the floor and it cracked across the middle. Paddy gazed in horror. ‘Bejabbers, I’ve cut my throat,’ he gasped.
So drink some beer ( responsibly) and have some fun. Just don’t forget EP’s, there are prizes to be won!