Source: Rhonda Weiche, sbpmessenger.com
Wed, Aug 10, 2011
Adorning the walls, a pair of worn boxing gloves, an acoustic guitar autographed by well-known Irish musicians, and an Irish drum called a Bodran are among the things that create an authentic Irish pub atmosphere and evoke easy conversation at O’Malley’s Irish Pub.
Each item has an interesting story to tell and pub owner, Tommy Gage is anxious to tell the tale. He greets every patron upon entering, putting each one at ease. He knows them by name and for many, he begins pouring their drink by memory the minute they step in the door.
Gage, a former U.S. Olympic boxer who represented the U.S.A. at the games in St. Petersburg, Russia, has a history with Irish pubs. He worked in an Irish pub while attending college on a boxing scholarship awarded by the U.S. Olympic Committee. He planned to graduate with a law degree and fight it out in the courtroom after a promising sports career as a boxer.
In an ironic turn of events, instead of practicing law, Gage went to work in another Irish pub. This one, Foley’s, was owned by his uncle.
“A family member got into legal trouble. I had to go to work to help pay the lawyer,” Gage said.
It was a punishing blow that that left him unable to continue his education. He lost his scholarship, his law career and his place on the U.S. Olympic team. His boxing talent was inherited from his dad, a professional boxer, who fought against athletes such as Leon Spinks.
In 2004, Gage remodeled an existing building located at the corner of Lemp and Cherokee Streets, in the Antique District. With his Grandmother’s Irish roots to guide him, he opened his very own Irish pub, O’ Malley’s.
“I have a no quit, no give up attitude. If it doesn’t work, I’ll make it work,” said Gage.
Gage attributes the lessons he learned as a boxer to his operation of the bar. He is a fighter outside of the ring just as he was inside the ring.
When asked what makes O’ Malley’s Irish Pub a great place, Gage said, “A lot of it has to do with the customers. A bar is only four walls. It’s the people that make it.”
Those walls are green complimented by exposed red brick and three huge windows just like many of the Irish bars in Dublin. Put together, all four walls create a warm and comfortable gathering place to meet friends for lunch, dinner, or happy hour.
People of all ages come dressed casually in T-shirts, shorts, jeans and flip-flops adding to the relaxed, fun atmosphere of the authentic Irish pub.
For those who prefer fresh air or a place for a smoke, try the newly remodeled patio. Beginning August 16th you can enjoy new happy hour specials from 5-7 p.m. at the outdoor bar in the beer garden. Featured is Island music from artists such as Jimmy Buffet and Bob Marley. Drink specials include frozen margaritas for $2.50, Domestic bottles for $2.00 and 20oz. Guinness, Harp, Smithwick’s, and Magners Irish Cider for $3.00.
Also new on the patio, erected by Gage, is a small memorial for Tank, the bulldog, RIP. Tank was well known and well loved by all who live in the neighborhood, especially those who frequent the pub. Gage welcomes all well behaved dogs and keeps buckets of ice water for thirsty pub pups.
O’Malley’s menu offers food from around Europe made from secret family recipes including traditional Irish dishes such as Shepherd’s Pie. Made from scratch using Gage’s grandmother’s recipe, he added a few secret touches of his own. And for those of you who enjoy the usual bar food, your eyes will be smiling even if you are not Irish. For the more adventurous, try their new hamburger pizza recipe—complete with ketchup for sauce, hamburger, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, pickles and cheese. Other favorites are buffalo chicken pizza and potato soup, Gage’s own creation.
“The homemade potato chips and wings are some of the best,” said Janice Gage.
Mon: Open Mic comedy night – starts at 10pm
Tues: Traditional live Irish music – 7pm-10pm
Wed-Sat: Traditional live Irish music – 9-Close
1900 Cherokee Street