The holiday comes just once a year, but the hangover that follows doesn’t. It probably feels familiar – a pounding headache, nausea, the lingering aftertaste of last night’s bad decisions.
Even for the elite few who call themselves members of Spokane’s Irish Drinking Team, the pangs of too much sauce can be fierce. Praise be, then, to the club’s newest tradition: hungover brunch the morning after.
“I’m still a bit iffy,” said Shannon Dickenson, who has organized the famed pub crawl for six straight years. “I don’t think I’m sober yet.”
Between the hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, dozens of club members filed through the doors at nYne Bar & Bistro on Sprague Avenue downtown, where just hours earlier, several hundred had raised the roof.
Boasting more than 3,000 followers on Facebook, the club typically sees about 300 members partake in the crawl over St. Patrick’s Day weekend, and these past few days were no exception.
The festivities began Thursday night with bar trivia, also at nYne, before a meet-and-greet Friday at O’Doherty’s Irish Grille. Saturday morning is when the real fun began.
Dickenson said more than 150 people had already lined up at the door to nYne before 7 a.m., and from then on, 18 hours of nonstop drinking took place as the group moved from bar, to bar, to bar, to bar. By midnight, the group had spread out across town, before reconvening Sunday morning for brunch at the place it all began.
Gone were the hundreds of people, shouting and slamming back shots of whiskey, replaced by a few dozen, ready to eat a breakfast burrito or enjoy a cocktail or two.
“We didn’t last as long as usual,” said Aaron Rink, of Yakima, as he sipped on a Bloody Mary. “But it was good.”
“And we also saved a lot of money,” added his girlfriend Tera Layton, who said a typical pub crawl can cost anywhere from $400 to $1,000 in booze alone.
Coli Hiatt, nYne’s manager, said the pub typically isn’t open in the mornings or on Sundays, but staff were happy to come in and send off the Irish Drinking Team with a full stomach and a little hair o’ the dog. She worked from about 5 a.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday, before coming back in a few hours later.
“It’s definitely more of a marathon,” she said. “It was a long day. But it was awesome.”
New members Kristen Otoupalik and Russ Lundberg agreed. Both of Irish heritage, the friends said they’d definitely be back next year.
“It was just a way to make a whole day out of it,” said Otoupalik, as she snapped a selfie with Lundberg. “It kind of turned into a special day for us.”
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