【N.J】 If it’s St. Patrick’s Day in Mercer County, it’s time to check-in with the Tir Na Nog (JEFF EDELSTEIN COLUMN) – – – New Jersey News

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I’ve been working at The – for over 24 years and … whoa. I need a moment. That’s a long time. Sheesh. OK.

OK. I’ve been working at The – for over 24 years, and I’ve met all sorts of interesting people and covered all sorts of interesting stories. Russell Crowe once flipped me the bird. I spent a day with Nancy Kerrigan and Katarina Witt. I was backstage at a WWE event watching Kane and Chris Jericho mock out their match. I shook Al Gore’s hand, had a phone conversation with Donald Trump. The list goes on.

But of all my memories, one stands out.

It was the time I went to the Tir Na Nog and then-bar manager Frank Connell and I created the Guinneschewitz — a mashup of Guinness beer and Manischewitz wine.

I was there working on a St. Patrick’s Day story, and wanted to figure out a way to bring my Jewish heritage to my wife’s Irish background, and before you could say, “That is a terrible idea” Connell was putting two of ‘em together.

We picked up our glasses, knocked ‘em together, gave the traditional salutations — “slainte” from Frank, “l’chaim” from me — and very gingerly put the concoction to our mouths.

It wasn’t terrible. That was the overwhelming consensus.

Well, times change. Frank is now back home in Ireland, but uh … I’m still drinking and writing about Tir Na Nog when St. Patrick’s Day rolls around.

Of course, a little over 10 years ago, things changed at the Nog. Todd Faulkner bought the bar from the Briggs family. Of course, the bar was founded by Irish Billy Briggs, and his legend lives on. But — and this isn’t breaking news — there was worry of what was to become of the Nog under new ownership.

Well … that worry was misplaced. The years on the calendar may change, but the Nog has remained — in every way possible — the Nog.

But that doesn’t mean Faulkner — and his wife, Maureen — haven’t put their stamp on it.

“We love the pub and the growing family that comes with it,” Todd told me. “We have made so many friends and enjoy being part of the wonderful Irish community within Mercer County. Maureen and I are proud to have made our own footprint at this historic pub that Billy Briggs built.”

Faulkner has created the Whiskey Ambassador Club, with five different levels. They’ve also begun a new tradition — an Irish New Year’s celebration, more or less.

“Since 2013, we have had a New Year’s Eve party where we ring the bell at 7 p.m. to match the time when Ireland rings in the New Year,” Todd said. “Each year, that party gets bigger and bigger because old guys like me want to be out to ring the bell but then be in bed before midnight!”

Of course, the centerpiece of any Irish pub — and the Tir Na Nog is nationally recognized as one of the best — is St. Patrick’s Day.

And this Friday, the Nog is rolling out an all-day affair.

“We open at 9 a.m. for St Patrick’s Day,” Todd said. “We have Diarmuid MacSuibhne on at 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Some Assembly Required from 4 to 8 p.m., and Successful Failures from 8 to midnight.”

No word if there are any Guinneschewitz specials, but if you want one, I’d go with three-quarters Guinness and one quarter Manischewitz. Or 100% Guinness. Whichever.

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