Residents can get their green on and sample Irish-inspired food in Lansing
By Carrie Steinweg
LANSING, Ill. (March 9, 2023) – Although the earliest settlers of Lansing were of Dutch and German descent, the growth of the brick industry in Lansing in the late 1800s brought a number of Italian and Irish immigrants to work at the brickyards.
So although there was never a large Irish population in Lansing, the community had enough Irish influence that there was a reason to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Lansing‘s first Mayor was a man named J.B. McDonald, after all, who undoubtedly had some Irish ancestry in his family tree.
This year, Lansing is preparing year to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on Friday, March 17, when everyone can claim to be a little bit Irish for the day and partake in a plate of corned beef and cabbage, sip some Irish coffee, enjoy a pint of Irish stout, and pull out the emerald hues from the wardrobe.
Here’s a run-down of where to go in Lansing to enjoy a meal, drink, or dessert for St. Patrick’s Day:
2455 Bernice Road, 708-474-9977
The St. Patrick’s Day festivities will kick off on Friday, March 10 with the introduction of J.J.’s Irish-inspired menu in the Clover Room starting at 4 p.m. The menu includes the famous Reuben sandwiches with their house-made, hand-cut potato chips or fries. They’ll also offer a plate of three mini Reubens, each on their own buttered mini rye bread. Corned beef platters include cabbage, carrots, red potatoes, and Irish soda bread.
On Friday evening only, they’ll also have an all-you-can-eat salad bar included with entrées for diners in the Clover Room.
Appetizers include Irish Fries (topped with nacho cheese, crumbled corned beef, sour cream, and chives), Reuben flatbread (flatbread topped with corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese with Thousand Island on the side), and Irish Quesadillas (corned beef, sauerkraut, and Thousand Island in a grilled tortilla served with jalapeño horseradish sauce).
These specialty menu items will continue throughout next week until St. Patrick’s Day (March 17). On St. Patrick’s Day, they’ll also add Shepherd’s Pie and an Irish Sampler Platter (corned beef platter with a side of Shepherd’s Pie). Entrées will include a choice of soup and Irish soda bread.
In addition to the usual Irish whiskey and beer always on tap, there will also be a limited-time cocktail menu of specialty drinks including Classic Irish Coffee, Emerald Isle Punch, the Lucky Leprechaun, Pot ‘O Gold Martini, and Irish Eyes Margarita.
Reservations are recommended for Friday, March 17 when the Irish band St. James Gate will take the stage. There will also be strolling bagpipers making their way through both rooms.
J. J. Kelley’s will also host a special celebration on Sunday, March 19 in honor of St. Joseph Day. There will be a number of Italian dishes on the menu and Frank Rossi will be providing entertainment with sounds of Frank Sinatra and other crooners of that era. He takes the stage at 1 p.m. and there is a $5 cover charge. Reservations are recommended.
3249 Glenwood Lansing Road, 708-474-7837
A taste of Ireland will touch down at the Lansing Airport on Lynnie Ques’ menu. St. Patrick’s Day happens to be the anniversary of the opening of the airport restaurant, so there are also some special anniversary activities that week.
Patrons are invited for a painting party on Wednesday, March 15 at 6 p.m. On Thursday, it’s Customer Appreciation Day where the first drink is free and there will be giveaways. On Friday, March 17 there will be live entertainment from the band Bad Hand and on Saturday, March 18, a live DJ will be playing at 7 p.m.
From March 15-18, Lynnie Ques will be serving up corned beef and cabbage with glazed carrots and soda bread. Or diners can opt for a Reuben sandwich with choice of crinkle-cut fries, tater tots, or baked beans and coleslaw.
For drinks, customers can sip on a pint of Guinness, toast with a shot of Irish whiskey, or try out the house margarita drizzled with orange Jameson for $5 on St. Patrick’s Day.
Kasey’s Banquet Hall
17800 Lorenz Avenue, 708-895-7720
Kasey’s at the Knights of Columbus will be featuring entertainment on St. Patrick’s Day. The public can stop by to watch the band Little Giant at 7 p.m. with a cash bar. Patrons can also purchase a ticket for an all-you-can-eat corned beef and cabbage dinner with unlimited beer, wine, and pop to enjoy while watching the show.
Tickets can be purchased in advance at Kasey’s from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. on weekdays.
Bottom’s Up Bar & Grill
1696 Thornton Lansing Road, 708-418-3877
At Bottom’s Up, they’ll be serving several St. Patrick’s Day favorites. Diners can choose from corned beef and cabbage, Reuben sandwiches, hot corned beef & Swiss sandwiches, Reuben skins, Reuben pizza, Reuben loaded chips, and Reuben soup from March 15 until March 29 or while supplies last. Dishes can be washed down with a green beer or toast with a themed cocktail, like the Irish Eyes Martini or Grasshopper — or a gold shot.
18349 Torrence Avenue, (708-895-3700
This week, Calumet Bakery will be adding St. Patrick’s Day sugar cookies to the case and starting on March 13, they’ll be adding Irish soda bread. Although they will have a big supply made daily, they do sell out fast and they recommend pre-ordering to guarantee that they’ll have it available. Customers can also order customized cakes and cupcakes decorated with green frosting and rings.
3502 Ridge Road, 708-895-5233
St. Patrick’s Day celebrants can mark the holiday with a pint of Guinness or Killian’s Irish Red at this pub in downtown Lansing. They can add a toast with a shot of Irish whiskey (Kilroy’s carries Tullamore Dew, Jameson, and Paddy).
3521 Ridge Road, 708-889-6235
Crepes have changed from a red hue for Valentine’s Day to green for St. Patrick’s Day at Kdulche Cafe. An upcoming menu offering featuring the green crepe is the Leprechaun Crepes, which includes three vanilla crepes filled with sweet cream cheese, condensed milk, powdered sugar, and cupcake syrup flavor — and topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and gold sprinkles.
17010 Torrence Avenue, 708-895-5555
Those wishing to indulge their sweet tooth on St. Patty’s Day can head to Culver’s and choose from a Cool Mint Shake or Mint Concrete Mixer made with Oreo. Flavor of the Day offerings are rotated and also often include Andes Mint Avalanche or Mint Explosion.
17810 Torrence Avenue, 708-474-2450
The Shamrock Shake has been a seasonal favorite at McDonald’s for decades. Swing by in March for the minty limited-time Shamrock Shake. They’re also offering a limited time OREO Shamrock McFlurry.
3602 Ridge Road, 855-955-2534
For residents that would rather cook up an Irish feast at home or brighten the table with something green, current weekly specials include a sale on Cattlemen’s Ranch fresh USDA choice flat-cut corned beef brisket, red potatoes, and cabbage, as well as Irish cheddar, mint chocolate chip ice cream, Connelly’s Original Country Cream, and fudge mint striped shortbread cookies. Shoppers can stay updated with sales on Aldi’s website.