St Patrick’s Day at P.J.O’Brien’s

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On March 17th, St Patrick’s Day will see Australia’s six million Irish, Irish descended – and even the Irish at heart – congregate for the world’s largest celebration of Irish culture. At the same time wandering Irish folk from Dublin to New York to Tokyo will witness rivers turned green and landmarks lit with a wash of Celtic colour!

In Melbourne, the most passionate thousands of Irish will be found making the most of the craic at P.J.O’Brien’s Irish Pub at Southgate. All are welcome, with a full entertainment line up and menu available via

Irish bandThe Bad Penguins are headlining the P.J.’s line up, and will be belting out tunes well into the Celtic night at the Irish pub on the banks of the Yarra River.

Front man and St Kilda East local Paul Quinn talks to Rain Fuller about what people can expect on the day.


What does it mean to be Irish in Australia?

“For me musically it has been great to come to America and Australia and bring a bit of my culture to another culture – pass it on a bit, let people hear something they might not ordinarily hear”

“What does it mean to be Irish? We’re generally hard working and fun loving, and most Irish folk are proud to be Irish. With a love of travel – hence me being here!”


What kind of music do you play at P.J.O’Brien’s?

“We play a mix of Irish folk and traditional music, then when the crowd gets louder we ramp it up with a mix of Aussie and international rock tunes”


What is P.J.O’Brien’s like as a pub?

“P.J.O’Brien’s at Southgate on the Yarra is one of the most authentic Irish pubs you’ll get in Australia. They have been pretty careful with their selection of staff and music; ensuring that [there] is a touch of Ireland for those that want [it], without overdoing it or seeming gimmicky. There’s nothing of ‘The Plastic Paddy’ about it!”

“They get a good cross over of Irish visitors, expats and Australians alike. They also get lots of people who come down before or after seeing shows at Hamer Hall, which is nice”


Paul has played St Patrick’s Day at P.J.’s for the past four years. Here’s his two cents of what you can expect on the day:

The day starts off with a real family vibe with kids and Irish dancers, face painting and other fun stuff like that. Progressing throughout the day there is a pretty impressive line up with 7-8 bands playing everything from Irish traditional music to modern folk and hits. They’ve got the best Irish music you’ll find in Melbourne for sure!

There’s also a good friendly atmosphere throughout the day, with people respecting the tradition and celebration of St Patrick’s Day – everyone is in good form and there isn’t any hassle!

Paul is currently mastering The Bad Penguins and Guests live album recorded in P.J.O’Brien’s, which celebrates the bands five-year anniversary in Australia. It will be released on CD, iTunes and DVD in May.

As well as playing St Patrick’s Day on Tuesday March 17th, you can catch The Bad Penguins at P.J.O’Brien’s Southgate every Friday evening (6pm-9pm), with a special guest on Sunday and Monday nights (9pm-12am).

On St Patrick’s Day, festivities will kick off with an Irish breakfast from 8am.

Discerning St Patrick’s Day revelers can sample P.J.O’Brien’s head bartender Cian O’Neill’s signature Irish cocktails, including the Double Black Martini with Guinness and Espresso, the Black-Currant Velvet, merging the Irish and expat Guinness-variegated drinks, and The Sour Irishman.

Designed and constructed in Ireland, and considered by Guinness Worldwide Brewing to be Australia’s leading Irish Pub, P.J.O’Brien’s is the country’s most authentic destination for the celebration.


Where:             Ground Level, Southgate Restaurant & Shopping Precinct, 3 Southgate Avenue, Southbank (opposite Flinders St Station on the banks of the Yarra River).

When:              Tuesday, 17th March

Bookings:        Bookings and pre-payment essential from 8am-11am. To book for Breakfast or Lunch call 03 9686 5011


“The O’Brien family, which owns P.J.O’Brien’s, are Irish-Australian and proud of their background. That’s a good example of people who don’t see opening an Irish bar as something you just pluck off the shelf. They support a lot of Irish community events” – Billy Cantwell, publisher of the Australian Irish Pub Guide and the Irish Echo, Australia’s Irish newspaper.

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