Raleigh's Tir Na Nog Makes a Comeback, Kind of, for a Final Hurrah Tonight | Food
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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Raleigh's Tir Na Nog Makes a Comeback, Kind of, for a Final Hurrah Tonight

Posted by on Thu, Mar 17, 2016 at 8:56 AM

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF TIR NA NOG
  • Photo courtesy of Tir Na Nog
We're still about a week and a half away from Easter, but there's already a resurrection ready for Raleigh. Tonight, Tir Na Nog will return to downtown in spirit, through a "pop-up pub" in Market Hall, just across Moore Square from the bar's original home on Blount Street.

Beginning at 3 p.m., Tir Na Nog will be alive in spirit for a seasonal celebration. A clutch of artists who regularly appeared on the pub's stage—The Tan and Sober Gentlemen, Gerry McCrudden, and James Olin Oden—will perform, as will Wake and District Pipes and Drums and dancers from Inis Cairde Irish Dance. A five dollar cover gets you in the door, and Vic's Italian, Treat, and 214 Martin St. will be on hand selling food. Beer and whiskey will be available, too.

Blair Johnson, who worked at Tir Na Nog as a manager for nearly eight years and now works at City Market, says that, historically, the Saturday of Raleigh's Saint Patrick's Day Parade was the restaurant's busiest day of business. However, he and fellow organizer Annie Nice decided to stick to a day-of celebration, rather than push it to the weekend.

“Parade Day is nice, but trying to bring back this sort of authentic Irish pub, it just makes sense to do it on real St. Patrick’s Day," he says. "We used to joke that the amateurs came out on the weekend on parade day, and that the pros came out on actual St. Patrick’s Day.”

Tir Na Nog closed last November after eighteen years in business. Owner Pete Pagano attributed the move to the need to spend more time with his young family. The Tir Na Nog space has since been transferred to Vansana and Vanvisa Nolintha, who own Bida Manda on the same block. They plan to open Plenty, which will combine Belgian-inspired brews with Chinese dim sum, plus a small library and flower shop.

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