ST. PADDY’S 2016: Good Craic at Cranky Joe’s


East Falls loves to get our Irish on! This year, our trip to the corner of Conrad & Indian Queen leads to a legendary evening at Cranky Joe’s. With special cameo by local boy doing good Sean Stevens… 

EastFallsLocal st paddys day collage txt

We made the mistake of calling around to local bars, asking about St. Patrick’s Day specials. Every one was like, “Uhhh… it’s St. Paddy’s Day. That’s what’s special, duh.”   Duh indeed.  Bars could probably lock their doors and Fallsers would find their way in to celebrate such a cherished holiday.

EastFallsLocal collage st paddys 2016 cranky joes AGAIN

East Falls owes much to the Irish, who were one of the first settlers to arrive, and who largely staffed our mills during our biggest industrial boom. Our skyline’s dominant church, too, has an Irish patron saint. No wonder St. Patrick’s Day takes on a fierce, local pride here!

EastFallsLocal vince murphy deck collage

This year, neighbors took a break from the Great Shamrock Controversy to dress up in green & gather at the corner of Conrad and Indian Queen. Although Billy Murphy’s beckoned across the street with its “Summer-stoop” patio, we were immediately distracted by buzz around Cranky Joe’s:  Sean Stevens was coming!

Cool, the only thing a room full of hot-headed Irish people with alcohol needs is someone to get them talking politics. GAH!

EastFallsLocal campaigning Fallser style

No worries, though. This part of town’s only got love for their favorite son from Stanton Street. When Sean showed up, seemed everyone in the bar offered an enthusiastic hello (some more spirited than others, ha).

Sean’s running for State Representative (D) in the 194th district, on a “boots on the ground” sorta platform. If elected, he promises to stay local and accessible for his constituents, and fight to change the culture in Harrisburg.

Eastfallslocal most interesting man liz colalge

He also promises to buy free beer for everyone if they vote for him this April 26th. DON’T FORGET!!!  Also, I made up the free beer part — but who knows? Maybe a round for the house here next month if he wins, I dunno…  Some people I was talking to last night thought it was a good idea…

EastFallsLocal sean steven collage outside cranky

Anyway! Sean hung out awhile but then we lost track of him when our wings arrived. We heard from some smokers that he was onto Murphy’s, and maybe Franklin’s after that. Fare thee well, Sean!

EastFallsLocal collage crowd at st pats 2

Things got louder and funnier, and then this St. Paddy’s Day at Cranky Joe’s blurred into what I can only describe as a house party (but at a bar). On nights like these, Cranky Joe’s delivers flashbacks of college and the Jersey shore.

Singing, shouting, slapstick — it’s all here. All ages, all parts of East Falls. A bridge engineer from Penn Street yukking it up with some college kids and young parents from up the block.  The party showed no signs of stopping when we bounced a little before eleven. Hope everyone enjoyed a fun, safe St. Paddy’s Day.

Thanks for mugging for our camera!

EastFallsLocal 3-17 CRANKY JOE crowd st pats morgan

EastFallsLocal st paddys cranky collage skinny

EastFallsLocal 3-17 CRANKY JOE Elaine txt

EastFallsLocal 3-17 CRANKY JOE group crop sean 4

May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, and may trouble avoid you wherever you go.   — Irish Blessing

“Craic” (/kræk/ KRACK), or “crack”, is a term for news, gossip, fun, entertainment, and enjoyable conversation, particularly prominent in Ireland.


    • We researched it too, and even have practical experience: when I was in Dublin for St. Patrick’s, “Paddy” was used everywhere. In fact, when corresponding with a hotel manager they got a laugh out of “Patty” as a cute Americanism. I think of the term “Paddy” as the Irish nickname for Patrick. Here are two links to know where we’re coming from and A quick excerpt from one of the links — “Paddy is derived from the Irish, Pádraig: the source of those mysterious, emerald double-Ds. Patty is the diminutive of Patricia, or a burger, and just not something you call a fella.” Thanks for chiming in Sue!

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