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Photos: Local revelers go green for mask-free St. Patrick’s Day in SF

Kara Neal, a bartender at The Little Shamrock, holds a sign saying “Let’s Get Drunk,” on March 17, 2022. | James Wyatt

You know what they say: It’s 5 o’clock somewhere…

But given that it’s illegal to sell booze between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. in the Golden State, the thirstiest of San Francisco’s St. Paddy’s Day revelers had to wait for the soft golden glow of false dawn before bellying up at an early rising watering hole.

By the time you read this a fair number of our city’s most dedicated dionysian denizens will have been dressed in green and raising pints of Guinness and tumblers of Jameson for well over 12 hours.

Sláinte, indeed.

Almost every seat in McCarthy’s Irish Bar in West Portal was taken before 5 o’clock—p.m., that is. Across town in the Financial District, Irish Times was packed shoulder-to-shoulder, while Gaelic music poured from the speakers. 

“After the pandemic, everyone’s happy to be here, outside. I’m just asking everyone around to do me one favor: Enjoy yourself,” said Tama Jah Bless, a San Francisco native and security guard for Irish Times.

As the luck of the Irish would have it, this St. Patrick's Day is being celebrated without a citywide mask or vaccine mandate. But we recognize that not everyone is ready to chance a crowded bar just yet, so we sent a photographer out into the fray to capture locals celebrating this high-spirited holiday.

Click on to see the faces—and folly—of St. Patrick's Day 2022 in San Francisco.