Mickey’s Irish Pub

Source: David Dolmage, waukee.patch.com

Wednesday, Aug 31st, 2011

Travis Rappe needed to find a neighborhood bar when he moved to Waukee two years ago.

Waukee residents gather around the circular bar at Mickey's Irish Pub in Waukee. Credit David Dolmage

Mickey’s Irish Pub, 50 S.E. Laurel St. in Waukee, felt like a family and Rappe has been a regular since then. He stops in four or five days a week, and was even invited to Mickey’s Christmas party last year.

“I’ve been to other bars in Waukee, but it’s just not your bar,” Rappe said. “Nobody knows you when you walk in.”

That familiar, homey feeling is what owners Andy and Amy Walsh wanted to create when they bought the business four years ago.

“It’s comfortable here, customers tell us that they feel like they can talk to anyone,” Andy said. “We’ll have an attorney sitting with an auto mechanic.”

Both Andy and Amy have extensive culinary experience. They met in 1995 when she worked as a server and he was a cook.

The couple worked side-by-side in a number of restaurants until Andy, feeling burnt out from a decade spent working in kitchens, decided to take time off. When the entrepreneurial bug bit five years ago, the Walshes started looking at different businesses, but kept gravitating toward bars and restaurants.

Finding Mickey’s Irish Pub close to their house felt like a sign. Still, it was a larger business than they’d planned on, which meant Amy would have to quit her job as an event planner to make it work.

“I knew we could do this if she left her job,” Andy said.

Together, the Walshes thought they could tackle any job at the bar. Andy’s a night owl, which means you’ll often find Amy in during the day, taking care of the books, which Andy hates doing.

“We’ve always been a good match because she always does the things that I hate doing,” Andy said.

Some of the staff at the pub have been around since the beginning, something Andy and Amy pride themselves on.

“This is our family, we’ve met so many friends here,” Amy said. “All of our employees are like our kids.”

Mickey’s Irish Pub hosts Irish night every Wednesday, featuring $3 for any Irish whiskey or beer, and Andy said it’s a point of pride how much Guinness the bar sells. Every bartender on staff has attended a class to learn how to pour the perfect pint, and Andy claims it’s the freshest in town.

“I’m happier here than I’ve ever been in my entire career,” he said.


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