Kells Will Host Its Irish Festival at Both Locations This Month, Even Though the Downtown Pub Is on the Market

The beer will, in fact, be flowing during the brand’s biggest holiday following a pandemic pause.

After a two-year absence, the pipers will be back at both Kells locations this St. Patrick’s Day, though this may be the last time you’ll get to mark the occasion at the historic downtown property.

Today, the business announced it would be bringing back its popular Irish Festival, beginning Sunday, March 13, to coincide with the Shamrock Run, and then Thursday through Saturday, March 17-19.

However, the news comes just weeks after the Portland Business Journal reported that the Glisan Building is on the market, and that the listing states the site “will be delivered vacant upon sale.” The ad goes on to say that the space is currently home to Kells, “presenting an excellent opportunity for a restaurant/bar, event space, or creative office space.”

Gerard and Lucy McAleese, owners of both Kells and the Glisan Building, have actually been trying to sell the Southwest 2nd Avenue structure since 2020. At that time, they said they planned to continue to operate the restaurant inside as normal once the property was purchased.

While the future of Portland’s original Kells is unclear, the beer will, in fact, be flowing during the brand’s biggest holiday following a pandemic pause.

You can expect live music, Irish dancers and, yes, bagpipes galore at the downtown pub. Festivities will also take place at the Nob Hill brewery.

On March 17 only, admission is $20 at each location, and that includes a souvenir T-shirt while supplies last. Minors are welcome all hours, all days, except for St. Patrick’s Day after 4 pm.

The McAleeses established Kells’ Portland location in 1990, and they began hosting a St. Patrick’s Day festival in 1991 that has since become the largest Irish celebration in the state.

There will be no cash ceiling sweep this year, but Kells will accept donations via QR code for the Center for Medically Fragile Children at Providence Child Center.