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St. Patrick's Day busiest bar day of year in Indiana

Hundreds of people gather on Crown Point's square to watch the St. Patrick's Day Parade during the annual St. Patrick's Day Celebration. A study found it was the busiest bar day of the year.

Forget New Year's Eve, Cinco de Mayo and Black Wednesday, when college students returning for Thanksgiving pack their hometown bars to reconnect with old friends.

St. Patrick's Day is the top sales day of the year for bars in Indiana, a study by the small business software provider Womply found.

"We analyzed transactions at over 3,500 local bars and lounges across the country for every day of the 2018 calendar year to better understand economic trends and consumer behavior on St. Patrick’s Day," Womply spokesman Dan Lalli said. "Turns out local bars and lounges in Indiana see a 115 percent boost in revenue on St. Patty’s Day, due in large part to an 83 percent increase in transaction volume."

Nationally, bars see a 122 percent boost in revenue and a 108 increase in transaction volume on St. Patrick's Day, the study found.

"St. Patrick’s Day is a better revenue day for local bars and lounges than Super Bowl Sunday, New Year’s Eve and Cinco de Mayo," Lalli said. "Local restaurants in Indiana should also see green on St. Patrick’s Day. It is the tenth best sales day of the year, with sales surging 56 percent and transaction volume up 29 percent compared to an average day."

Irish pubs like Matey's Irish Pub in Crown Point, the Irish House in Chesterton, Finnegan's Pub in Dyer, Clancy's Irish Pub in Portage and McGinnis Pub in Michigan City attract crowds on the holiday. But not everyone in the bar business benefits on the day when many choose to celebrate their Irish heritage, real or imagined, with pints and whiskey. 

"We have historically seen increased demand for our oatmeal stout and Rueben sandwich that are some of the most typical fare for St. Paddy's Day," said Dave Toth, the owner of Byway Brewing in Hammond. "But since we don't serve liquor, our overall taproom business on this day is typically a little off from other Saturday's in March, due to many celebrants' desire for shots, Irish Car Bombs and green watery beer."

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.