McSharry’s Irish Pub is not only the coolest bar on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay according to Nappie Awards voters, it also claims to be home to the best food, drinks and atmosphere this side of the River Shannon.
Nestled like a shamrock in a cloverfield in scenic downtown Fairhope, McSharry’s has been open on North Bancroft Street for about 10 years and owner Ronan McSharry said many of his employees have worked at the bar during most of that time. McSharry said the longevity of the bar’s staff is one key to its success.
“Most of our staff has been around the bar for a long time, so our customers know our workers and they know they can trust us,” McSharry said. “The bar is always clean and the service is fast. You don’t often have to sit around waiting to be served. And the bar is safe.”
McSharry, who was born in Sligo, Ireland, said the bar has a wide range of entertainment options for patrons, from live traditional Irish music on Sundays, a DJ on Fridays and Saturdays, and live music on the “PaddyO” on Thursday nights. The bar is often packed full for its Sunday acoustic Irish music sessions, the longest-running weekly Irish music show on the Gulf Coast.
“Our traditional Irish music is always popular with some of the older crowd, and some younger ones too,” McSharry said. “We always have good music at the bar.”
McSharry said the bar features a wide selection of food, beer and drinks. Its television also shows a wide array of sports, from football and soccer to every Major League Baseball game available in its MLB coverage package.
“We are in a great location in beautiful downtown Fairhope,” McSharry said. “The town is a destination for a lot of people who come to shop or hang out, and we are right there to serve those people. We have great music and we often have great sports on our televisions for people to watch.”
The bar’s menu features Irish-inspired fare such as fish and chips, Ronan’s Reuben sandwich, shepherd’s pie, Guinness beer chili and Gaelic wings with a “tasty Irish wing sauce.”
“We have a small kitchen but a large menu with fantastic burgers and bar fare,” McSharry said. “We make some delicious traditional Irish dishes like shepherd’s pie and fish and chips.”
But it’s not just bar fare and Irish food that makes McSharry’s menu so popular. Many customers return for its fusion of cooking styles. The menu features several items that are a mashup of both Mexican and Irish foods. The bar’s “Irish nachos” are similar to what you’d find on the menu at a Mexican restaurant, but they are covered in the meat from McSharry’s shepherd’s pie. Fish tacos, hummus, quesadillas and other items are also popular with the pub’s patrons.
“We cook everything from scratch,” McSharry said. “We have a varied menu with a lot to choose from. Everything is fresh and made in house.
“But mainly, I think the bar is successful because of our great staff. They are efficient and helpful and trustworthy, and I think the people who come to the bar pick up on that very quickly.”
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