Tim's Take: The Original St. Patrick's tradition - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Tim's Take: The Original St. Patrick's tradition

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

For generations of Savannahians, the original St. Patrick's tradition was starting the day with a drink at the corner of Drayton and Harris.

And yesterday, that hadn't changed even though the name of the bar had.

"It might be called The Original now,” said Mark Hancock. “But it's the original Pinkie Masters and always will be to us.”

And it was back in full St. Patrick's Day form yesterday, serving as meeting place, gathering place and general place to be with its comfortable hole-in-the-wall embrace.

"It was a neighborhood bar that was a big part of Savannah,” said Matt Garappolo, who opened The Original in the old Pinkie’s five weeks ago. “We just wanted to keep the tradition going and feel fortunate that we were able to.’’

The bar has been steadily crowded since it’s re-opening, but a lot more people rediscovered it on St. Patrick's Day, like an old shirt they didn't know was still in their closet.

"It's wonderful to have it back,” said loyal customer Andy Wright. “I'm really glad to see all the regulars making the transition.”

It's been easy to because not much has changed.

It's cleaner and less cluttered, different but still the same, still a local bar where a local will always find someone they know, especially on St. Patrick's Day for groups like the Park Siders.

"My entire neighborhood crew shows up at 8:30,” said Hancock. “We've been coming here since the mid-70s when I was 13, 14 years old. We might have had an alcoholic beverage at that age, but I cannot admit that in public.”

You heard that story a lot yesterday, half of Savannah claiming to have had their first beer at Pinkie's and many of them returning to The Original, which was not just a location but a destination, a page in Savannah's history as much as a sign on one of its corners.

"I feel like we've been able to bring that back,” Garappolo said of the Pinkie’s tradition. “A lot of people who haven't been in here for years have come back and are having a good time with it. There were some people outside banging on the door this morning, so it was a good start to the day.”

And an even better continuation of a Savannah tradition.

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