NAUGATUCK - With 1,200 pounds of corned beef already cooked, and another 300 in reserve, the Old Corner Cafe is ready for St. Patrick's Day.
The venerable tavern at 178 North Main St. has been a local favorite on St. Paddy's Day for more than 100 years. And this year is no exception. The tavern, named best in Connecticut in 2011, has had a steady flow of customers seeking corned beef sandwiches and platters since Thursday. Thousands more are expected tomorrow.
"This is the best time of the year, as long as the weather cooperates," said owner Eugene "Beany" Ferreira. "Everybody is just itching to get out and celebrate the Irish."
The National Weather Service is calling for Naugatuck to see sunny and windy weather tomorrow with a high near 41 (at this point, we'll take it).
The Old Corner will likely see large crowds starting to form around 11 a.m., and people will continue to pour in until close. Behind the bar, workers will be pouring Guiness and Harp, but definitely no green beer. "That's not Irish," Ferreira said.
Patrons will be entertained today and tonight by talented local artist Jimmy Hernovich, who mixes in some Irish tunes along with cover songs from the 1980s to today. "He's very good. I haven't heard a local guy better than him in a while," Ferreira said. On Sunday, he said, St. Paddy's Day revelers will be deligted by the sounds of Bobby Morrill, an artist who Ferreira said is "simply phenomenal."
And in the kitchen, they will be piling the corned beef which Ferreira's wife, Anne, has been preparing for more than a week.
"We want to get rid of it all," he said. "If we have to start cooking more on Saturday (today), then we will do that."
Note: The Old Corner isn't the only local establishment celebrating St. Patrick's Day. Check out all Naugatuck has to offer here in the food and dining section of our local business directory.