With discounted Jameson shots, Tullamore Dew and Irish Car Bombs on the menus, 10 bars and restaurants along the Grand Street corridor slashed their drink prices for the Grand Street Business Improvement District’s (BID) 3rd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl.
Artineh Havan, director of the Grand Street BID, took on the centuries-old holiday tradition as one of her first orders of business after taking over.
“Grand Street has a lot of eating and drinking establishments, a lot of restaurants and bars, and a great way to promote them is to bring them together,” Havan said.
She added that nearly 50 of their 100 businesses along the six-block BID - from Union to Bushwick Avenue - are restaurants and bars, and an outreach initiative like the St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl was just one way to bring foot traffic to the neighborhood.
The BID recently hired Larisa Ortiz Associates, a commercial district advising consultant, to perform a reevaluation study of the strip to better market and focus on business development.
“It’s a lot of bars for six blocks, and we now have two that are in transition to becoming bars. In reality we will have 13 bars,” Havan said. “When we did our market study, we realized what would be a good fit, and we realized that it was bars and restaurants.”
Ian Hardie, head bartender at Huckleberry Bar at 588 Grand Ave., said while it has been a challenge to get some foot traffic on weeknights in the busy corridor to the Williamsburg Bridge, there is some room for hope in the years ahead.
“It has changed a lot,” Hardie said. “There used to be just three bars in this general area when we first got here, so it has really blown up the last two years. But the strip has become a destination for people who are looking for something that is new and cool.”
Djalleh Peiri, an agent with Ideal Properties Group, works just down the street from the BID on South 4th St. and Bedford Ave., and wore green for the pub crawl this year.
“I wanted to just come out and see the neighborhood a little more,” Peiri said. “I really enjoy East Williamsburg, the feel of it, the atmosphere. It’s really laid back and it’s more of a neighborhood.”
Representatives of Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey were also out in force as primary sponsors for the event this year.
Tullamore Dew local brand ambassador Gemma Cole said the business does a lot of business on Grand Street, so this was their way of giving back to the community.
“It’s a celebration of St. Patrick’s Day and it’s a celebration of Irish-ness,” Cole said. “It seemed like a great idea to work with the other bars and show our appreciation.”