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Fish Fry Friday: Irish Style at the Buffalo Irish Center

Taylor Epps continues the Fish Fry Tour
The Buffalo Irish Center thrives in March, last year was difficult, but this year, they're picking it back up
Posted at 6:43 AM, Mar 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-12 08:54:50-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — It's a Friday during the Lenten Season, you already know what that means! We're continuing our tour of WNY fish fries and this week's has us feeling lucky.

7 Eyewitness News reporter Taylor Epps stopped by the Buffalo Irish Center where this year’s fish fry is getting them back on their feet.

"It was a very very rough ride for the last year, trying to keep the doors open and going and we’re maintaining," said Jill Sullivan, Manager at the Irish Center.

St. Patty's day falls on a Fish Fry day at the Buffalo Irish Center this year
St. Patty's day falls on a Fish Fry day at the Buffalo Irish Center this year

The Buffalo Irish Center does fish fries all year round, but it’s extremely busy during Lent, with people flocking in every Wednesday and Friday.

They’re operating at 50% capacity and say it’s tough keeping crowds small, but they manage. They usually host huge celebrations, music nights and 12 local non-profits year round.

In October last year, they were supposed to celebrate 50 years, but that got canceled. The hope is that the fish fry will bring them enough cash to have a real celebration later this year. They're seeing great support so far.

"So hoping to keep it going and get busier, hopefully New York State guidelines get lifted a little bit and we can fill the place a bit more," said Sullivan.

And as they celebrate Fish Fry Friday, they're of course looking ahead to enjoying St. Patrick’s Day next Wednesday, which will be a huge day at the center.

Last year on St. Patrick’s day, they were closed because of the pandemic. What usually is a fun, music-filled holiday with people from the front pub to the back rooms, was completely quiet.

Leaders at the Buffalo Irish Center say this year is about preserving tradition
Leaders at the Buffalo Irish Center say this year is about preserving tradition

But things are pretty much back in full swing this year, they’re selling corn beef St. Patrick’s day dinners on Saturday nights and hosting a traditional Irish breakfast and St. Patrick’s dinner on March 17. All at the same time as their usual fish fry on Wednesday.

“It’s sort of like the light at the end of the tunnel is getting a little bit brighter and we’re getting to enjoy some of the things we lost last year," said Mary Heneghan, Chairman of the Buffalo Irish Center.

Right now, the breakfast and dinner on St. Patty’s day are sold out, but there’s still room in the pub to come down and celebrate.

And to really keep the party going, they’re also hosting a virtual concert at 5pm in one of their back rooms with the Young Wolfe Tones.

For more information on the St. Patrick’s day celebration you can email Mary mary@buffaloirishcenter.com or head to their website.

Fish Fry Info:

  • You can enjoy a fish fry at the Buffalo Irish Center on Wednesdays and Fridays
  • They’re open 4-9 on Fridays and 5-9 on Wednesdays
  • Orders are $14
  • They have beer-battered, broiled and breaded
  • Sides: Macaroni Salad, Coleslaw, Fries or Irish Colcannon potatoes

But it doesn't matter when you come because as Mary says, you don’t have to wait for st. Patrick’s day, you can be Irish any day.