Drunken revelry returns to L Street Tavern on St. Paddy’s Day

Welcome to St. Patrick's Day in Southie.

The line outside L Street Tavern on St. Patrick's Day 2022 went down the street. Susannah Sudborough

It was a cold and rainy St. Patrick’s Day in Southie this year.

While it’s not an uncommon phenomenon for this specific drinking holiday, it was still unwelcome amongst the people in green waiting in long lines for bars like L Street Tavern, The Playwright, Shamrock Pub, and Tom English’s Cottage.

Still, the mood outside L Street Tavern was upbeat. Thoughts of COVID-19 were far from people’s minds.

Many groups of friends waited in the line outside dressed in their St. Patrick’s Day gear, trying to keep warm.

One group of friends said they always get dressed up and go to classic Boston St. Patrick’s Day bars such as L Street Tavern and Ned Devine’s.


This year, they said, they just wanted to get in somewhere.

“We tried to go somewhere else, but we came back, so we’ve spent our whole day in line. Two hours,” 23-year-old Laura Phelps said. “We did go to The Broadway and I had my green beer, and I had to chug it to come back.”

Kyle Johnson, a friend who did not wish for his name to be listed, David Brown, Lauren Phelps, and Sophia Mara went to L Street Tavern together on St. Patrick’s Day 2022. – Susannah Sudborough

Even so, the group was excited to get inside L Street Tavern to drink some Guinness and Jameson.

“It’s an institution. This is just where you have to be,” 25-year-old Kyle Johnson said.

Among the group, they said they hadn’t gone out for St. Patrick’s Day the past two years, or had tried to and found it awash, so this year was especially exciting.

“Feels really good, and once we get in it will feel even better,” Johnson said.

Another group of friends said this was their first time going to L Street Tavern for St. Patrick’s Day. While some had gone out for St. Paddy’s Day before, one had come from Brooklyn just for the occasion.

“It’s just been COVID since I’ve been in Boston,” said 25-year-old Julianna Fusco.

But all in attendance were excited to get out and experience the holiday.

“The luck of the Irish is in the air,” Fusco said, smiling.


All four girls said they had some Irish ancestry, though it ranged from 30% to an impressive 50%. Julianna said she was sure of her ancestry, given her mother’s tellingly Irish maiden name of McDermott.

Jesse Zionts, Katie Sondheim, Carolyn Saxton, and Julianna Fusco went to L Street Tavern together on St. Patrick’s Day 2022.

“We were here yesterday and they were stocking up on the Fireball and the McGillicuddy’s, and they were like ‘Get ready,'” said 25-year-old Carolyn Saxton.

Katie Sondheim, 26, said one of her friends was hoping to kiss an Irishman, in honor of the classic saying, “Kiss me, I’m Irish.”

“They have a countdown on their wall that goes all year round,” Sondheim said of L Street Tavern. “And it counts down to the day of St. Patrick’s Day.”

Elena Erdekian, 24, said this was her first year living in Southie. She said she moved in last fall, so this was also her first St. Patrick’s Day there.

“I’m excited. It’s my first one here, and basically ever since I was in college before COVID,” she said.

L Street Tavern was a popular venue on St. Patrick’s Day 2022. – Susannah Sudborough

Erdekian said she had modest goals for the night.

“I’ll make myself drink Guinness. I don’t really like beer, but I feel like I have to,” she said, laughing.

Erdekian said she was meeting friends at L Street, and they knew there’d be a line, so she and her friend came early.


“This was just the spot to be at tonight,” she said.


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