July 31, 2020
Throughout its existence, JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant had achieved iconic status in South Florida from its various Irish offerings and the annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations. The St Patrick’s Day party at JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant wasn’t like any other St Patrick’s Day party. The party was on, so to speak, day and night. It started at noon with Bobbie Ritchie the Bagpiper, and continued to the wee hours of the morning. For nearly 20 years, patrons donned in green filled the street on March 17 to listen to folk bands and bagpipers while sipping over a pint of Guinness and enjoying corned beef, shepherd’s pie, and cabbage. Every year on March 17, JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant would host various Irish-themed activities running from noon through to 2 am. Some of the people who have been hosted at the Irish pub include on St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, the band Luna, whose lead singer Shane McCluskey who performed a couple of traditional folk songs that brought the spirit of Ireland to Coral Gables at a recent St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. One of the reasons why the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant was so popular was that it wasn’t focused exclusively on adults. There were various activities that kids could enjoy, such as face painting, balloon animals, and unicorn pony rides. This made it an especially fun event for families to spend the day together. The local pub featured classic Irish drinks as well as its traditional Irish fare. The special menu during St. Patrick’s Day Celebration featured fish, chips, shepherd’s pie, mash, and bangers. The house Dj provided additional entertainment on the decks from 9 pm. The authenticity of the activities made patrons feel like they were feasting on the Emerald Isle at JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant.
Although many American cities have Irish pubs where locals and ex-pats can hang out over a pint, Miami isn’t as big as New York or Boston. JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant brought an authentic taste of Ireland to a region not famous for the wearing of the green. Although the COVID-19 pandemic hastened the closure of JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, the joint will always maintain an iconic spot in the hearts of Coral Gables residents. For 30 years, JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant provided a fun Irish haven where locals and ex-pats could hang out and enjoy live music, well-made meals, and Irish drinks. The killer trivia night on Thursdays was undoubtedly one of the hardest trivia to crack, and the Friday Karaoke nights were terrific.
It will be interesting to watch how the food scene will unfold in South Florida after the exit of one of the longest-serving restaurants in the region and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As with all crises, this too shall pass, and the economy will start to do well again. Hopefully, things will turn around sooner rather than later. However, all things considered, you will be hard-pressed to find an Irish pub in South Florida that rivals the iconic status that JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant has attained over the years. Such a reputation takes years of effort and consistency to build. That JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant has set the bar so high, should not serve as a deterrent, but as an encouragement to other Irish pubs in the region that they too…