The Sweetest Season
No crowds, warm sand, amazing food: Paddy’s Beach Club welcomes fall
It was one of those late morning beach days with a crisp and cloudless blue summer sky, sun glinting off the water, a hint of a breeze, and music in the background, when a man’s voice announced cheerfully: “Shark attack!”
No one so much as flinched, because over at the bar, the bartender was grinning as he slid a colorful fishbowl of rum, liqueur and juice toward a woman and her friends.
It’s 5 o’clock somewhere. Vibe unbroken.
Here at Paddy’s Beach Club in Misquamicut, the summer is cabana-lifestyle: filled with music, oceanfront day beds and chaise lounges, concerts, a creative menu, and an on-the-sand bar and dance floor.
But the beach club is open after Labor Day as well, a time of year the locals hold as precious: warm water, beautiful weather and plenty of elbow room at the best haunts.
“It’s the best beach month of the entire year,” said Angela Thoman, Paddy’s business manager, who eeked out a few moments to talk about the shoulder season one bustling July morning when fall seemed eons away.
It could be a beautiful day like this one, Thoman pointed out, and the beach will be open, inviting and most importantly – uncrowded.
“People forget about the beach in September,” she said. “In September they start apple picking…”
But the beach is still here, gorgeous as ever. And Paddy’s is open for business. Fall hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. weekends.
Paddy’s remains open through Columbus Day, weather permitting, but it’s a good idea to double-check the website in case the club is closed for a private event.
With the crowds cleared out, Paddy’s becomes a venue for corporate and private functions as well as weddings – three are scheduled for this September.
“No event’s too large,” Thoman said.
The club can seat 180 people under its tent and then bring in more tents as the occasion calls for it.
The menu does take advantage of local seasonal flavor with pumpkin dishes and butternut squash, and although the club stops booking bands after Labor Day, it does host one more bash: Beach Olympics, which is a field day for adults.
The Third Annual event will take place on Sept. 16 at noon and features classics like the 3-legged sack race, and relay races on the sand where participants must change in and out of a set of goofy clothes. There’s also a wacky bowling event where Olympians knock water bottles over with weights dangling from their heads.
Co-owner Paul Doyle created Beach Olympics a few years ago when he was president of the Westerly Lions Club, and 100 percent of the proceeds benefit the organization.
The club DOES close for the winter months, despite a local legend claiming otherwise. In that tale, Paddy’s is open yearround except for Halloween night, owing to the appearance of a female ghost in a bonnet who emerges from the surf holding a baby.
Alas, Paddy’s is not open on Halloween.
Behind the scenes, Thoman, who’s been with the venue for 17 years, starts in on mountains of paperwork when the beach season winds down.
“I get caught up on everything, accounting-wise, that we couldn’t get done (in summer),” she said. “We start immediately focusing on Watch Hill Catering, which is our offsite catering company; revising menus, and planning the next season.”
Paddy’s reopens again in May for Springfest and next year marks the club’s 20th season. Thoman said the club will bring back a volleyball court and perhaps start a small league, and it’s also mulling a new logo.
One thing’s for sure, the sun may set at Paddy’s Beach. But never for long.
For more information: www.paddysbeach.com, Facebook (@paddys.beach.club) and Instagram (@paddysbeach)