Feel like a party? There always seems to be one at Blarney’s. . .
Located in the middle of Grass Lake in Illinois’ famous Chain O’ Lakes, Blarney Island is one of the few bars in the country that’s only accessible by boat. (A sister bar, Port of Blarney, is on the “mainland” for those who prefer to stay on solid ground. A shuttle runs from the “port” to the “island”.) Once a small operation known best for the women’s underwear hanging from its rafters, Blarney Island has grown into a prime party destination, earning its nickname, “Key West of the Midwest.”
Legend has it that the island itself was wagered in a poker game a century ago, when Jack O’Connor won it from “Shorty” Shobin. At the time the land wasn’t even an island, but the construction of the Stratton Dam flooded the surrounding area in 1939. Since then, ownership has changed a number of times, and the bar that sits atop the island has grown with the popularity of the Chain.
Today, the bar runs a regular shuttle service between the island and Port of Blarney, ferrying revelers to frequent live concerts, bikini contests and themed events. The bar also hosts weekly boat races in the summer, with a “regular season” that culminates in the top four boats racing at the end of August.Blarney Island, is just a 10-minute boat ride away from Newport Cove’s planned community and its 67 homes, 100-slip marina and eight-acre waterfront park. If boating, water skiing, gardening, barbecuing and fishing doesn’t complete your summer fun at Newport Cove, Blarney Island provides plenty of convenient entertainment.
A few photos of recent events: