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Ever since the former Petruzzi’s, formerly Indigo Grill, formerly Perkins, in the Wildewood Shopping Center in California became the only Irish pub in Southern Maryland, people have been asking the question, ‘Where did they come up with the name of D.B. McMillans?’ The answer is a good one, owner Dana Spicuzza explained.

“D.B. McMillan was my grandfather,” Spicuzza said. “That’s how the name came about. My other grandfather, Robert Proudman, is also Irish, and it was through him that I was able to obtain dual citizenship. So, I’m a citizen of the United States, but I’m also a citizen of Ireland.”

That should explain why year after year D.B. McMillans is preparing to celebrate its fourth year in business the restaurant’s web site counts down the days to what in their minds is the most important holiday of the year: St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.

Spicuzza grew up at her father’s nearby Lenny’s Restaurant, where every year “since I was a little child,” her father, Dan Reburchick, celebrated his Irish heritage with the largest St. Paddy’s Day celebration in St. Mary’s County. “Until I stole his thunder,” she said.

Her reference is to what is these days the biggest St. Paddy’s Day party in town across the street at D.B. McMillans, where last year they hosted in the neighborhood of 1,000 celebrants, all wearing green no doubt.

“He still does a St. Patrick’s Day party, but we get the crowd,” Spicuzza noted. “Some of the older patrons will start over here and then go over there.”

Her parents traveled to Ireland a few years ago and brought back stunning photos of the Emerald Isle which now adorn the walls of D.B. McMillan’s, blown up to poster size.

“We missed Friday this year. Normally, we’d be having the party on a Friday, but with the leap year it pushed it to Saturday. We were hoping to do a parade, but there were too many strings we would have had to pull with that.”

Perhaps it’s just as well. With the party that’s shaping up to take place March 17, there’s going to be plenty going on. Wildewood Shopping Center will be participating in the festivities. Businesses displaying a “See Green to Save Green” sign or green shamrocks on their doors will be offering specials throughout the shopping center and Spicuzza said they were all too willing to participate in the event.

“I take up all of their parking every year, so it’s only fitting,” she said.

These folks do it up right. The party will begin at 8 a.m. with “Kegs & Eggs” and Spicuzza estimates that some diehard fans of the green will be there from the get go. The local youth rugby club will be holding a fundraiser in front of the restaurant (I was unaware that there was a youth rugby group in St. Mary’s County, but according to Spicuzza kids from 5 to 18 participate and it’s growing every year).

“This is a super family oriented event,” she stressed. “We’ll have ice fishing for the kids, where they have to dip into a cooler of ice to fetch the prize at the bottom. There will be a lot of fun stuff for kids to do.”

You can go to D.B. McMillans any day of the week and find Irish music playing on the sound system. It’s a trademark of the restaurant, and there will be live music all day long March 17. The musicians who usually play there during the week will be alternating throughout the day, including Mason Sebastian, Dave Norris and Fair Warning.

Guiness representative Michael Collins will be at the party to do giveaways along with other vendors. The party will be inside and outside, she said.

“It’s all about the weather,” Spicuzza noted. “The last three St. Patrick’s Days have been 70-degree days, which has been phenomenal. That helps.”

“We’ll be checking IDs at the door,” she stressed. “We will be serving food all day and we’ll probably be open until midnight.”

The pub will be offering a revised menu of typical Irish fare for the event, including corned beef and cabbage, Reuben sandwiches, fish and chips, shepherd’s pie and boxty a potato cake stuffed with corned beef and cheese. There will also be black and white pudding, an Irish favorite made with blood sausage. And of course, there will be plenty of Guinness, Kilkenny Irish Beer and Murphy’s Ale, oyster shooter girls, St. Patrick’s Day t-shirts and buttons.

“This year, we are going to charge $5, but for the $5 you not only get in, but you get beads and a button to accent your St. Paddy’s Day garb. We’re going to have an ice luge providing I can get Uncle Stephen (Reburchick) to carve it. He’s supposed to,” she said.

The restaurant is also offering special discount rates at Sleep Inn Hotel across Route 235 for those who wish to party hardy but shouldn’t be out on the road.

“We want to make sure those who party do so safely,” she stressed. “We don’t want to be sending people out on the road if they’ve had too much to drink. We want to be responsible patrons.”

“We’re encouraging everyone to wear green, kilts, whatever,” she added. “We’re also looking for a bagpipe player if anyone is interested, to wander around when the musicians take their break.”

“This is a family event,” Spicuzza said. “Kids are welcome, but parents are responsible for them. We will give them away to the leprecauns if they’re unattended.”

Many local businesses will be celebrating Ireland’s patron saint on March 17, not the least of which is The Crossing at Casey Jones in La Plata, which hosts the region’s first Irish pub.

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the past have been standing room only with a line out the door.

“Actually, despite the number of people we have on St. Patrick’s Day, we rotate the people through very well,” said Lisa Bales.

Both ironically and sadly, this will be the first St. Patrick’s Day without matriarch Nora Favier, who came to Charles County from Ireland and founded the restaurant in 1980.

“Her father worked on the Irish railroad and she grew up on a farm that was part of the railroad system,” Bales said. “She came here in 1980 and this location was available and it was by the railroad and it reminded her of home. She named it after an American Irish folk hero and wanted the pub to have an Irish feel. We’re celebrating our 35th anniversary this year.”

Back in the day, if you were standing at the bar when the train rolled through, you got a free drink on the house. Bales said that tradition is still in effect - but only on St. Patrick’s Day.

The restaurant has since expanded - some of that as the result of the 2002 tornadeo - and Bales said that they have many devoted patrons who return year after year for their special St. Paddy’s Day celebration.

“We have a lot of folks who will come and bring their children and they tend to go to the main dining room where they can enjoy live music and food without the degree of madness that is taking place in the pub,” she said.

Casey Jones will begin their St. Patrick’s Day festivities at 11:30 a.m. with a special brunch featuring Irish favorites. Their menu that day will be traditional Irish fare: corned beef and cabbage, fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, Irish soda bread - all traditional family recipes.

“We have something different with Guinness every year,” Bales added. “I’m not really sure what that will be this year, but we always have something special to go along with the traditional. We mix the old with the new.”

There will be live music from 3:30-7:30 p.m. with another band playing at 9:30 p.m. And this is the one day out of the year when reservations are not accepted at the restaurant. It will be first-come, first-served. Time to gather to celebrate Ireland’s patron saint in style with a lot of fun mixed in.

Other venues:CJ’s Backroom, 12020 Rousby Hall Road, Lusby, is the place to be in Calvert County for St. Paddy’s Day. Their celebration will be an all-day affair. Doors open at 6 a.m. Food will be served starting at noon, with all-you-can-eat corned beef and cabbage for $7. There will be live music in the evening.

Babe’s Boys, 2890 Old Washington Road, Waldorf, always has a slamming St. Patrick’s Day party with excellent fare, all with an Irish twist. Usually they start at 6 p.m., but given that St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday this year, it is likely the celebration will start much earlier.

Brass Rail, 20331 Point Lookout Road, Great Mills, will be hosting a St. Patrick’s Day celebration from 5-8 p.m. featuring ham, corned beef, cabbage, potatoes with rolls and corn bread for $12 per person. Carryouts will be available.

The 10th District Volunteer Fire Department at the intersection of Poorhouse Road and Mason Springs Road in Pisgah will be hosting its 17th annual St. Patrick’s Day Dance from 8 p.m.-1:30 a.m. with a live band and Rockin’ Roger the DJ. The cost is $10, the event is BYOB and patrons must be at least 21 years of age to enter.

jnorris@somdnews.com

St. Paddy’s Day: Region wide

Many local businesses will be celebrating Ireland’s patron saint on March 17, not the least of which is The Crossing at Casey Jones in La Plata, which hosts the region’s first Irish pub.

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the past have been standing room only with a line out the door.

“Actually, despite the number of people we have on St. Patrick’s Day, we rotate the people through very well,” said Lisa Bales.

Both ironically and sadly, this will be the first St. Patrick’s Day without matriarch Nora Favier, who came to Charles County from Ireland and founded the restaurant in 1980.

“Her father worked on the Irish railroad and she grew up on a farm that was part of the railroad system,” Bales said. “She came here in 1980 and this location was available and it was by the railroad and it reminded her of home. She named it after an American Irish folk hero and wanted the pub to have an Irish feel. We’re celebrating our 35th anniversary this year.”

Back in the day, if you were standing at the bar when the train rolled through, you got a free drink on the house. Bales said that tradition is still in effect - but only on St. Patrick’s Day.

The restaurant has since expanded - some of that as the result of the 2002 tornadeo - and Bales said that they have many devoted patrons who return year after year for their special St. Paddy’s Day celebration.

“We have a lot of folks who will come and bring their children and they tend to go to the main dining room where they can enjoy live music and food without the degree of madness that is taking place in the pub,” she said.

Casey Jones will begin their St. Patrick’s Day festivities at 11:30 a.m. with a special brunch featuring Irish favorites. Their menu that day will be traditional Irish fare: corned beef and cabbage, fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, Irish soda bread - all traditional family recipes.

“We have something different with Guinness every year,” Bales added. “I’m not really sure what that will be this year, but we always have something special to go along with the traditional. We mix the old with the new.”

There will be live music from 3:30-7:30 p.m. with another band playing at 9:30 p.m. And this is the one day out of the year when reservations are not accepted at the restaurant. It will be first-come, first-served. Time to gather to celebrate Ireland’s patron saint in style with a lot of fun mixed in.

Other venues:CJ’s Backroom, 12020 Rousby Hall Road, Lusby, is the place to be in Calvert County for St. Paddy’s Day. Their celebration will be an all-day affair. Doors open at 6 a.m. Food will be served starting at noon, with all-you-can-eat corned beef and cabbage for $7. There will be live music in the evening.

Babe’s Boys, 2890 Old Washington Road, Waldorf, always has a slamming St. Patrick’s Day party with excellent fare, all with an Irish twist. Usually they start at 6 p.m., but given that St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday this year, it is likely the celebration will start much earlier.

Brass Rail, 20331 Point Lookout Road, Great Mills, will be hosting a St. Patrick’s Day celebration from 5-8 p.m. featuring ham, corned beef, cabbage, potatoes with rolls and corn bread for $12 per person. Carryouts will be available.

The 10th District Volunteer Fire Department at the intersection of Poorhouse Road and Mason Springs Road in Pisgah will be hosting its 17th annual St. Patrick’s Day Dance from 8 p.m.-1:30 a.m. with a live band and Rockin’ Roger the DJ. The cost is $10, the event is BYOB and patrons must be at least 21 years of age to enter.

jnorris@somdnews.com