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Best places to toast a Guinness this St. Patrick's Day weekend

St. Patrick's Day is upon us and plenty of people will choose to celebrate the Irish holiday by throwing back a beer. There are plenty of Irish brews to choose from, but Guinness is the leader by far.

Pouring a Guinness properly is no easy task, and for some seasoned professionals, it's a work of art that can't be rushed. The Buffalo News found 10 cool places to sit back and enjoy a wee bit o' blarney. Slainte!

*The Blackthorn Restaurant and Pub, 2134 Seneca St., 825-9327

You can't go wrong in South Buffalo where every Guinness is poured precisely and comes with a shamrock on top. The way bartender Pat Hayes puts it, "It takes two minutes to pour a Guinness" - words to live by at this Irish pub.

Live music for St. Patrick's Day: Yes, all week.

Pint price: $5.50

At The Blackthorn, you'll get a perfectly poured Guinness with a shamrock on top.

At The Blackthorn, you'll get a perfectly poured Guinness with a shamrock on top. (Elizabeth Carey/Special to The News)

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*Gene McCarthy's, 73 Hamburg St., 855-8948

This historic Irish pub, in the heart of Buffalo's true Irish community, is now home to Old First Ward Brewing Company. You'll find a large assortment of their brews like St. Patrick's Pilsner served by friendly Irish lassies like Erin Kelleher, but Guinness still rules the roost this month.

Live music on St. Patrick's Day: No, due to space.

Pint price: $5

Erin Kelleher chats with customers as she pours a Guinness at Gene McCarthy's in the Old First Ward. (Elizabeth Carey/Special to The News)

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*D'Arcy McGee's, 257 Franklin St., 853-3600

An authentic Irish pub in downtown Buffalo, Darcy McGee's is a must-visit after the St. Patrick's Day parade on March 20 when they lay claim to "Buffalo's biggest St. Patrick's Day event." Be sure to check out the craftsmanship on the bar, which was shipped directly from Ireland, while you're waiting for your beer.

Live music for St. Patrick's Day: Yes, even on multiple stages for parade day.

Pint price: $5.50

The bar at D'Arcy McGee's came straight from Ireland. (Harry Scull Jr./News file photo)

The bar at D'Arcy McGee's came straight from Ireland. (Harry Scull Jr./News file photo)

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*The Irishman Pub and Eatery, 5601 Main St., Williamsville, 626-2670

Can't get out of the 'burbs to celebrate? Head to The Irishman, which calls itself a contemporary Irish pub. Here, professional bartender Jim Barron waits the appropriate 120 seconds for "the settle" when pouring a Guinness.

Live music for St. Patrick's Day: Yes, all weekend and you'll find Irish dancers too.

Pint price: $5.50 or go for 20 oz. for $6

Jim Barron pours a Guinness before waiting for "the settle" at The Irishman. (Elizabeth Carey/Special to The News)

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*Shannon Pub, 2250 Niagara Falls Blvd., Tonawanda, 743-9348

Not up for a beer? (there are plenty to choose from) Grab an authentic Irish breakfast with rashers, bangers, and black and white pudding before heading to the parade (also available every Saturday and Sunday).

Live music for St. Patrick's Day: Yes, all weekend.

Pint price: $6

Shannon Pub serves a variety of Irish beers and breakfast. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

Shannon Pub serves a variety of Irish beers and breakfast. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

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*The Buffalo Irish Center, 245 Abbott Road, 825-9535

If you've never been to the Irish Center, you need to check it out. It's more than a banquet hall, especially on St. Patrick's Day when it's a full house and there's no shortage of blarney. They kick things off with mass on St. Patrick's Day followed by a full Irish breakfast (available on Saturdays and Sundays too.)

Live music for St. Patrick's Day: Of course, all weekend.

Pint price: $5

The Buffalo Irish Center celebrates St. Patrick's Day all year long. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

The Buffalo Irish Center celebrates St. Patrick's Day all year long. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

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*Doc Sullivan's Irish Pub, 474 Abbott Road, 436-3302

After the Irish Center, walk a few blocks to Doc Sullivan's for their famous "Smitty wings" and more. The new owners have been counting down the days to St. Patrick's Day since they renovated the classic Irish establishment.

Live music for St. Patrick's Day: Yes, you'll also find it every Saturday.

Pint price: $5, $6 for 20 oz.

Doc Sullivan's in South Buffalo has a brand new look. (via Doc Sullivan's)

Doc Sullivan's in South Buffalo has a brand new look. (via Doc Sullivan's)

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*Potter's Field Restaurant and Pub, 425 Potters Road, 824-1353

Enjoy your Guinness overlooking scenic Cazenovia Park at this friendly Irish pub, where everyone will soon know your name. Don't worry about space, the small pub has an extra large tent with porta-potties for Irish revelers.

Live music for St. Patrick's Day: Yes - on Saturday and Sunday.

Pint price: $5

Brittany Penders pours a Guinness at Potters Field. (Elizabeth Carey/Special to The News)

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*Jack Devine's Neighborhood Pub, 4170 Southwestern Blvd, Hamburg, 649-9190

Jack Devine's claims you'll feel like you're in the heart of Ireland when you step inside. One thing you will notice is a newly renovated interior and menu. They just celebrated a grand re-opening in time for St. Pat's. You'll also find a new location at 6935 Ward Road at Niagara Falls Blvd. in Wheatfield (260-1847).

Live music for St. Patrick's Day: Yes, with Irish dancers on Thursday.

Pint price: $6

Jack Devine's has two locations where Guinness is flowing.

Jack Devine's has two locations where Guinness is flowing. (Buffalo News file photo)

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*JP's Pub, 1986 Lakeview Road, Lake View, 627-3499

JP's pub got its start with five tables and now seats more than 100 with a banquet facility, but it hasn't lost its comfortable Irish charm. Try the Reuben, you can't go wrong.

Live music for St. Patrick's Day: Yes, Saturday too.

Pint price: $5

Known only as "the brothers," these loyal regulars keep the Guinness flowing at JP's Pub in Lake View. (Elizabeth Carey/Special to The News)

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