GREENFIELD — With shamrock decorations, Ireland-inspired fare and music and an abundance of green, downtown Greenfield made everyone feel a little more Irish for St. Patrick’s Day this past weekend.
Greenfield Main Street Inc. hosted “Shamrock the Block” on Saturday, which aimed to encourage Greenfield natives to support businesses in their own hometown, said Greenfield Main Street executive director Shelley Swift.
Patrons who dined and drank at three or more of the participating establishments — Griggsby’s Station, Lincoln Square Pancake House, The Wooden Bear, Carnegies, Tour of Italy and Hometown Classic Pizza — received a souvenir pint glass and a T-shirt commemorating the festive night.
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Greenfield Main Street — a nonprofit that promotes the city of Greenfield and its local venues — held Shamrock the Block after selling out all their tickets for the “Boos and Brews” event its leaders held last Halloween, Swift said.
By holding these events, the organization encourages people to go out and discover places right here in town for a fun evening rather than making the drive down to Indianapolis, Swift said.
“People might not be aware of all the great places there are to go downtown to drink and dine local,” Swift said.
“Hopefully, they’ll come out not just for this event; they’ll know where to go for the rest of the year.”
“There’s so many great things happening in such a small area, that you can just walk from place to place to place,” Swift added. “We’re just thrilled to see so many come out, get on board and dress in theme.”
Lincoln Square Pancake House turned into an Irish pub for the duration of the evening, swapping out their signature pancakes for corned beef and cabbage, said owner Costas Stylianou.
The pancake house extended its hours past the usual 4 p.m. to ensure residents had a chance to stop by, Stylianou said.
“We’re part of the city of Greenfield, so we had to take part of it tonight,” Stylianou said.
“We’re right in the middle of downtown, and it would be a shame for us to close our doors and go home for the night.”
Ian Harrison, owner of Carnegie’s, planned a special menu around the event, offering up Irish beer and a Guinness-inspired dessert — complete with chocolate mousse and other sweet treats shaped to look like a pint of the signature drink — to patrons bedecked in green.
Saturdays tend to be one of the North Street gourmet restaurant’s busier nights, but the Main Street soirée brought in a flurry of visitors who might not otherwise dined downtown, he said.
Tour of Italy owner James Phillips held a party in the upstairs waiting area, serving appetizers and Irish beer while people waited for their main course.
Events that bring people to small businesses downtown will only help the area flourish more, Phillips said. Encouraging folks to eat and shop local is about preserving a culture just as much as the businesses themselves.
“Main Street in general is good for downtown America,” Phillips said.
“Some years ago … everyone wanted to be in a strip mall down by the interstate, and downtown America died for a long time. And I’m a big fan of bringing it back to life.”