The Sweet­est Sea­son

No crowds, warm sand, amaz­ing food: Paddy’s Beach Club wel­comes fall

The Day - Sound & Country - - The sweetest season - By Karin Cromp­ton

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)

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