(WSYR-TV) — For the first time in nearly sixty years, Coleman’s Authentic Irish Pub has been forced to postpone one of its longest-running traditions, the Green Beer Delivery and Parade.
Forecasts of high winds are blamed. The celebration of spring will now take place a week to Sunday, March 6. This will also mark the first year the event will go on without its founder, the late Peter Coleman.
When you think of Peter Coleman, you think of that gravelly voice. Or those twinkly blue eyes. Or the ever-present smile… Announcing to the world that they’ve met not just a bar owner, but the self-styled Publican of Tipperary Hill. His son Dennis says they’ve missed him every day since he died last August.
“This is what he did,” says Dennis. “He started here when he was 18 til he was 84, and he was here pretty much every day his whole life, so, he really, He put everything he had into this place, into this neighborhood. So, it’s really something to model yourself after.”
Like many of his innovations, Peter Coleman’s Green Beer Delivery is a bit clouded in mystery. There’s evidence at Coleman’s the tradition started in 1963. Or ’62. Maybe even 1960. And it’s probably true that no one ever saw the entire 10-thousand gallons of green beer flow into the subterranean tanks… or the tanks themselves.
But it’s the legends that are important. Like the special entrance for leprechauns. And the tribute to the Stonethrowers, the young Irish neighbors of the early 20th Century who forced the city to keep the famous Green-over-Red traffic light up the block.
Peter Coleman expanded the family’s one room pub into one of the region’s legendary restaurants. And he helped to rebuild the Tipperary Hill neighborhood along with it. And he made life fun. Jason Neilon lives across the street from Coleman’s.
“You see a guy just driving around in a golf cart. I remember during the pandemic. He pulled up, I was on my porch. He said, ‘Don’t you wish you had a pub to drink at right now??’ I said ‘I sure do!!’”
Neilon was at the bar, catching up with his neighbor, Kyle Schirtz. “I think now more than ever. I mean, you look around and everything’s always changing, going good or bad. But you always need that one thing that keeps everyone together. And this place is it,’” Schirtz says.
Peter Coleman died in August. His son Dennis runs the place now. Dennis is a little quieter than his old man. But he learned from the best.
“One thing I learned from him is you gotta take a chance. You gotta do something different,” Dennis says. “You gotta put yourself out there and you might fail, and tht’s OK, you know. But you’e never gonna have the success you want if you don’t take a chance.”
So, what’s next for the Coleman empire. “Who knows what’ll come next, you know?,” Dennis says. “We’re not the biggest planners. We’re ore Figure-outers, so who knows. Something else will come up and we’ll figure it out.”
There’s no question that Green Beer Sunday will never be the same without the founder here. Then again, I’m not saying it won’t be worth your time.
“He’ll be here,” Dennis says about his dad. “He’ll be with us. I figure he’s got the best seat in the house now. We gotta give him a good show.”
Learn more about Coleman’s and the rescheduled Green Beer Sunday at colemansirishpub.com.