It takes a lot more than shamrocks and Guinness to make a good Irish pub. O’Shay’s Pub has both, but owner Shay Landry goes even further with his new spot in the city’s Grove neighborhood.
Located in a prime corner space that was Newstead Tower Public House until 2010, O’Shay’s opened in February and makes good use of some existing design features: Warm, red walls and old-timey streetlight-style lamps add a cozy ambiance. A foosball game sits among dining tables near the front of the pub, and a shuffleboard table lines one wall; bring your A-game on Tuesdays and Thursdays — foosball and shuffleboard nights.
We visited O’Shay’s on a sunny Saturday afternoon, when the bar had a steady lunch crowd. The bartender was taking care of customers at tables and at the bar but juggled her duties effortlessly and checked in with us often.
O’Shay’s features daily drink specials; Saturday’s is bloody marys — an unremarkable mix that would be significantly improved with a bit of seasoning. Still, a great deal at just $3.50 apiece.
The bar sells a variety of Irish whiskeys and beers, plus some local microbrews. We had Bushmills Irish Honey ($6.50) on the rocks, a sweet whiskey with a smooth, slightly dry finish. The product was released this month and will be available for a limited time.
O’Shay’s food menu includes lots of Irish options, such as corned beef tacos, Irish slingers and shepherd’s pie. The fish and chips ($11.50; a “hearty Irish meal,” served with a salad) were among the best I’ve had: four pieces of perfectly seasoned and battered fish, crispy outside and flaky inside, served with fries cooked to a just-right soggy-crispiness. (The same can be said of the fried chips, which we enjoyed immensely.)
We also tried a plate of 10 plump, juicy chicken wings ($8.50) that had been tossed in a “flaming hot” mixture that includes spicy Sriracha sauce.
The kitchen closes at 9 p.m., but a late-night menu includes a selection of Dogtown Pizzas.
On the already-eclectic Manchester strip, O’Shay’s Pub is a robust addition with lots to offer.
Source: GABE HARTWIG, stltoday.com