3:32 min March 04, 2024

Irish Pride in the Pocono Mountains

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with the Irish community in the Poconos as PTN visits Siamsa Irish Pub and Fitzpatrick's Irish & Celtic Store!

Paula Fitzpatrick shows us around her shop, Fitzpatrick's, in downtown Stroudsburg with clothing, glassware, jewelry, foods, and knickknacks related to Ireland.

“I have a little bit of everything, and not a lot. But anything from Ireland, I think I have it,” she smiled.

Paula moved from Ireland to the United States when she was 19. She eventually relocated again from Queens, New York to the Poconos.

“The Poconos reminds me of home because it's very green with lots of trees, and I love it here. My husband said, ‘why don't you open an Irish store?’ I had never done retail, so I said, ‘I don't know.’ Yet, he encouraged me to open, and it has been running good for 20 years,” she explained.

That's right, Fitzpatrick’s is celebrating 20 years in business! Paula says it's all about offering a personalized experience and going above and beyond for customers.

“It's a really nice job because you get to speak to people. It’s not like a large department store where people are in and out. You always have time to talk to someone,” she added.

Fitzpatrick's is one of several small businesses in downtown Stroudsburg with Irish flair. There's also Finola’s Irish Pub, Newberry’s Yard Of Ale, Flood's, and Siamsa. The Stroudsburg staple also opened in 2004, the same year as Fitzpatrick’s.

“Twenty years is a long time for a restaurant to be open, and we're really proud of that,” smiled Doug Gawthrop, owner of Siamsa.

Siamsa resembles a traditional Irish pub. Even some furniture came from Ireland. Adding to the ambiance, the building is a former bank, and guests can dine in the vault area.

“You're going to get your traditional Irish experience here. The Guinness is going to be better than any poured Guinness you've gotten outside of Ireland. We offer your traditional Irish fare. Shepard’s pie, fish and chips, bangers and mash, corned beef and cabbage, and a traditional Irish breakfast, which you won’t find at many places,” he explained.

Owner Doug Gawthrop enjoys sharing his Irish heritage with all who dine here.

“There is a big Irish community in this area. We also have the Pocono Irish American Club, which has hundreds of members,” he said.

The PIAC organizes the St. Patrick’s Parade in Stroudsburg and East Stroudsburg, marching on for its 45th year on Sunday, March 24, 2024 and drawing in major crowds. The parade and Saint Patrick’s Day are like Siama's Superbowl, and the restaurant almost missed out on that last year after a devastating pipe burst. But Doug and his team were determined to re-open in time, and made it happen after two long months of renovations.

“We had great support from the community. Everyone was rallying around us and supporting us in getting back open. We really appreciated that,” he smiled.

Two businesses, two decades, and a little 'luck of the Irish' on their side!