‘Kiss Me, I’m Contagious;’ Bar Puts COVID Twist on St. Patrick’s Day Tradition

Iron Pig Smokehouse's "Kiss me, I'm Contagious" t-shirt. A bar in Michigan is stirring up controversy, not the proverbial pot of gold, with a tongue-in-cheek spin on the traditional St. Patrick’s Day “Kiss me, I’m Irish” slogan.

The Iron Pig Smokehouse has instead come up with a T-shirt with a slogan that reads, “Kiss me, I’m contagious.”

Restaurant owner Ian Murphy says the kelly green shirts with a shamrock design have nothing to do with the coronavirus pandemic.

“A lot of people are quick to be upset about the conclusion of ‘kiss me, I’m contagious’ about it having something to do with COVID,” Murphy told MLive.

And if you believe that, we know of a Leprechaun with a map to a pot of gold for you!

Instead, he says the slogan is intended to imply that being ‘Irish’ is catching. “I’m contagious because I’m Irish, I’m fun, we’re having a good time. Contagious is part of being the life of the party.”

The T-shirt, selling for US$25 on the Iron Pig website, has garnered mixed reactions on social media, with some users offended and upset at the restaurant making light of a situation that has taken people’s lives.

“Shameful how disrespectful this is to all those who have died from COVID 19, those who are still suffering from it and all of the front line workers who have and still are putting their lives and mental health at risk!” one user wrote on Facebook.

“While it’s still people’s choice to buy the T-shirt or not to buy the T-shirt, If you think any of us are buying for a second that your slogan has nothing to do with COVID-19, you’re out of your mind. Especially with how vocal and controversial you’ve been about it the past year,” read another Facebook comment.

Another user commented, “Oh my word, you people on here need to LIGHTEN UP AND LIVE!”

This St. Patty’s tee isn’t the first time the Iron Pig Smokehouse has been full o’ blarney.

It’s also printed up other T-shirts with slogans like: “I like pig butts and I cannot lie”, and “Risk it for the brisket… BBQ with a side of freedom,” with a flying pig in the colours of the American flag.

Anna Kroupina


Anna's day starts at 5:30 a.m. each morning to scour daily travel news headlines to find the most relevant stories for Canadian travel advisors. She contributes to writing the daily news and covers events. The Alberta Rockies, Hawaii and France's Provence region are among her favourite destinations. She's a proud cat mom and a terrible snowboarder.

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