Holt celebrates St. Patty's Day with safety in mind

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"They're handmade from bottle caps," said Devine, 77. Photo credit: Drew Dzwonkowski

By Drew Dzwonkowski
Holt Journal staff writer

Alcohol fuels St. Patrick’s Day, and the community of Holt is no exception. But on Thursday, residents ensured the day was celebrated safely.

“I try to look out there and see who’s driving,” said Allison Kline, a third-year cashier at the 7-Eleven on Aurelius.

Kline said she has refused to sell alcohol to intoxicated customers on previous St. Patrick’s Days.

“I try to make sure we don’t have intoxicated people driving on the roads,” Kline said. “I’m careful about who I sell alcohol to. I try. I do my best.”

It is an inconsistent holiday in terms of alcohol sales.

“Sales picked up big time,” said Steve Brower, of Brower Foods and Hardware on Aurelius. “I think people are drinking more at home. It’s cheaper. Or they’re pre-drinking before they head out to a bar. Either way, it’s business.”

Brower sells alcohol to a customer. Photo credit: Drew Dzwonkowski

Other stores saw less success.

“Nothing different than any other day,” said Bill Stevenson, a cashier at DeRosa’s Party Store on Cedar Road. “I thought we’d be busier because it’s St. Patty’s Day, but it really hasn’t been any different. We got busy with corned beef cabbage meals, but it’s a lot different than St. Patty’s Day in the past. A lot of people ain’t coming out this year for whatever reason.”

Brands with an Irish tradition are more popular on St. Patrick’s Day than on other days.

“I’ve sold more Guinesses today than I ever sell,” said Stevenson.

“We sold a lot of Guinness and Jameson today,” said Kline.

Safety and sales aside, the pride of the Irish was in full flush. Darb’s Crystal Bar, on the corner of Cedar and Holt, was packed with celebrating patrons of all flavors.

“I don’t know anybody that’s as Irish as I am,” said Jackie Devine, 77, a Crystal patron. She spoke about what the holiday truly celebrates, while drinking from a beer dyed green for the occasion. “My ancestors on my mother’s and my father’s side are all from Ireland. In Ireland it’s a very religious day. Everybody goes to church,” she said.

Darb's Crystal Bar is a landmark in Holt. Photo credit: Drew Dzwonkowski

“I’m too old for green beer!” said Jocelyn Davis, daughter of Devine and long time patron of Crystal’s. “Do you know what green beer does to your intestines? You’ll have a date tomorrow with the toilet.”

Inside the bar, the atmosphere was loud, packed, and hot.

“It’s a friendly neighborhood place,” said Davis. “It’s a dive. Everybody knows it. There’s always a reason to come.”

But there were apparent traces of a downswing from previous years.

“The turnout isn’t as good as last year, or the year before,” said Harold Darber, Crystal’s owner and namesake. “But it’s still great to see the people of Holt. I know everyone here, feels like.”

Darber in his element. Photo credit: Drew Dzwonkowski

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