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Davenport bars and restaurants ready for one of the busiest weekends of the year

Both Kilkenny's Pub and Me & Billy are stocked up with lots of alcohol and are expecting hundreds of customers over St. Patrick's Day and after the parade.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Bars and restaurants in Davenport are ready to start the St. Patrick's Day "paddy" this weekend and are expecting hundreds of green-clad Irish revelers to be stopping in.

"This, I mean, I would say hands down is the bar's biggest few days that we have as a whole," said Kilkenny's Pub Bar Manager Kelly Moore. "I start thinking about it about the first of the year. And then as we get closer to March, that's when I really start to put my attention onto St. Patrick's Day."

The inside of the bar is already filled to the brim with shamrock decorations and special St. Patrick's Day themed drink menus are on display.

Friday, she said, staff at Kilkenny's will start setting up the outdoor area and the cases of beer will be delivered. 

"We have many conversations with our beer salesmen on kind of number wise how much beer we think we should bring in," Moore said. "We have to kind of double up our liquor order just to make sure we have enough and that we don't have to run and get anything out... We basically just kind of double what we would do, roughly, for a week."

She added that this year will be a bit different. The bar is used to having the St. Patrick Society's Grand Parade the week before the actual holiday.

"It's kind of a whole new ballgame for us," Moore said. "We're jam packing everything into two days, essentially."

Meanwhile, up the street at Me & Billy, it's much of the same.

"I would imagine tomorrow by noon, we'll have a pretty full house. And it'll stay that way," said owner Bill Collins. "It's almost like an entire summer squashed into two days. It's a big portion of our year. We really enjoy it."

About a week and a half ago, all the classic Irish foods were delivered. He estimates they ordered over 100 pounds of corned beef, 100 pounds of cabbage and 150-200 pounds of potatoes.

"It takes time to prepare the corned beef and then you have to chill it and then we have to slice it," Collins said. "So there's a real process to it."

Staff there have also been busy preparing and decorating the restaurant. Collins said they've been building their alcohol inventory for a few weeks now.

Despite all the work that goes into it for both businesses, they also both agree that the days of celebration are a lot of fun.

"My favorite part of the celebration is all the wonderful people that come in," Collins said. "Year in, year out, it's fun to see them on that day, all dressed in green, all happy, all having fun. That's the best part."

"We get to meet a bunch of people, but we also get to see a lot of people that we don't necessarily get to see all the time anymore," Moore said. "Everybody's in a great mood, so then we're also in a great mood. It's just a really fun day for everybody. The day goes by very fast for all of us."

Both also agreed that the number of customers they'll see will depend on the weather, and they credit the bi-state parade for helping drive business to them.

The 37th annual Grand Parade will step off Saturday morning in Rock Island at 11:30.

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