Gaelic grub

New Irish pubs turn the Emerald City greener

Jenny Cunningham

On St. Patrick's Day, when Lucky Charms leprechauns seem to wink from every corner and kelly green is the new black, it's easy to get depressed about the Hallmark-ification of Irish culture.

Last St. Patty's Day, having gotten myself into a snit about this, I Googled the words "authentic" and "Irish" on the Internet to see what I might find. My number-1 hit was a Wal-Mart ad for a personalized concrete shamrock ― $18.97, plus shipping and handling.

If you've traveled in Ireland, you know what I'm longing for on March 17: the magic and melancholy of a Connemara sunset or a seat by the fire in a snug pub. That watercolor sunset is still an ocean away, but there's good news. The cream-topped perfection of a properly poured Guinness may be right around the corner from you, now that Irish expats have opened a few new pubs in Seattle.

Paddy Coyne's Irish Pub is the most surprising of the lot. It's a slice of the Old Country in a biotech hub of concrete and steel south of Lake Union. Right in the middle of this rapidly changing construction zone, Patrick Coyne has created a cozy place to pull up a stool and listen to one of the world's oldest living languages.

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