It’s early Saturday afternoon, but Kelly’s Irish Pub on South Padre Island is night-time boisterous, with two distinct castes of patrons.

On the fringes of the small bar, clusters of Winter Texans are perched in front of wall-mounted TVs, cheering their home-state college basketball teams. Packed tightly, a band of hard-drinking locals sit at the bar, where Kelly himself refills their drinks without prompting and chimes in on conversations, which occasionally start at one end of the curved bar and move, bar stool to bar stool, to the other end.

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