Inaugural Oktoberfest brings business to bars in Wantagh

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Wantagh will host its first-ever Oktoberfest celebration with a bar crawl, aimed at bringing business to local bars.

Some of the town’s well-known bars will participate in the event, slated for Saturday, Oct. 16. The bars expected to participate include: Croker’s, Craft, The Irish Poet, Bunker Hill, Corry’s, The Wantagh Inn, Ridgewood and Mulcahy’s.

The idea for a pub crawl came from Tim Murray, the Director of Promotions at Mulcahy’s. Murray said he ran the concept past other local bar owners.

“They were all into the idea,” Murray said. “It’s during the day so it doesn’t impact any dinner business that they will have that night. A lot of the bars on this list have Oktoberfest menus and drink options anyway, so we [thought we] may as well make it a big event.”

Mike McNiff, owner of The Irish Poet, said the bar and eatery is offering German beers like Hofbrau and Warsteiner, and giant German-style pretzels with mustard and cheese.

“I hope everyone just parks their cars, starts walking and has a fun day,” McNiff said.

To get into the seasonal spirit, Oktoberfest attire is strongly encouraged by all participants. For men that means lederhosen and for women that means dirndls. Oktoberfest is traditionally a German beer festival that takes place in Munich, Germany, but has been adopted by many other countries for celebrations.

“Anything that gets people out and about and to Wantagh is a positive thing, and Oktoberfest is fun,” Wantagh Chamber of Commerce president Cathy Powell said. “After what we’ve all been through with Covid-19, we need to celebrate a lot.”

Participants have the option to stop by all the local bars for their themed drink and food specials. The bars are all in close proximity to one another.

“We have so many bars that are unique and have their own personalities,” Murray said. “Plus, they’re all walkable from each other. We’ve had great responses from the community so far.”

Wantagh has participated in other bar crawls before. Organizers in the hamlet have hosted the Post-Christmas Bar Crawl since 2012, where participants show up to local eateries and pubs in pajamas.

“It’s a fantastic event for local businesses and for the economy,” Hempstead Town Councilman Chris Carini said. “This is showing what a great destination Wantagh has become for events like this. This will put Wantagh on the map as an entertainment destination.”

Mulcahy’s will also be hosting a 20/20 raffle at 6 p.m., near the conclusion of the bar crawl, for the John Theissen
Children’s Foundation. The pub has hosted events for the Foundation for about 20 years, Murray said.

“Anytime we do an event and we can add a charity aspect, we do,” he said. “He’s a local Wantagh man and he does great work, so it makes sense to partner with him.”

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