5 nights of pints

Pint-size guide to Phoenix's Irish Pub scene

The food menu is deliciously extensive, from traditional Irish fare such as corned beef and cabbage and shepherd’s pie to the ubiquitous burgers and pub favorites.

“The food is good, but the portions here are also nice — unlike other places with tiny servings,” was the stamp of approval volunteered by Tim Wilcox, a 57-year-old gentleman who was enjoying lunch and beer at the bar.

While having a good time, you can also help out Jerry’s Kids by purchasing a shamrock that will be displayed on the wall with your name. Proceeds go to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and Marketing Manager, Chris Becker, is proud to report that the three RTOs raised $8,000 last year.

This St. Patty’s Day, RTO is pulling out all the stops: outdoor party, live music, bagpipers, tap dancers and, of course, green beer. “Everything will be a deal here,” promised Roy. The festivities will begin at 10 a.m., living up to RTO’s claim that it’ll have “the valley’s longest St. Patrick’s Day bash.”

Seamus McCaffrey's
18 W. Monroe, Phoenix
On the Web

Bottle upon bottle of Irish scotch sit glimmering behind the bar of Seamus McCaffrey’s, the one and only Irish pub in downtown Phoenix.

“We have the largest selection of single malt scotch in Arizona,” boasts Andrew Paul Mirtich, co-owner of McCaffrey’s. “It’s a nice collection, because it has something for everyone.”

That seems to be the theme of this old-fashioned pub. McCaffrey’s offers its patrons not only the requisite Irish fare of Guinness with corned beef and cabbage, but a wide variety of draught beers and food ranging from traditional boxtys to Cajun caesar salad.

The scotch whiskey collection, hand-picked by co-owner Frank Murray, features offerings from Jameson to Glenmorangie, with some priced at $175 a shot.

The old brick walls and dark, wooden bar give a testament to the authenticity of McCaffrey’s. Although only an Irish pub since 1991, the bar has been in its spot since the '20s, nestled between the historic San Carlos Hotel and a work-in-progress luxury condo conversion. Mirtich says the downtown revitalization has helped boost business and the bar sees people from all over the country stopping by to pay a visit.

“We were here before the ballpark and the whole downtown explosion, so those first few years were a struggle,” says Mirtich. “But now with ASU coming in and everything, we are kind of reaping the benefits of those hard years. And we get a lot of people from out of town, because anytime people travel, they look for the Irish bar.”

Proof of this can be found in the hundreds of police patches lining the walls and ceiling. Started after a police officer gave the bartender his patch as a token of appreciation for a good night at the pub, it soon became a tradition, with law enforcement officers, firefighters and military personnel from across the country sending the owners this token of gratitude.

McCaffrey’s also features live Celtic music on Sunday nights, which is always worth a stop in to see.

Feeling like both a downtown bar in Boston and a neighborhood pub in Dublin, Seamus McCaffrey’s is sure to please any lover of fine drink, good food and good times.

Maloney's Tavern in Tempe
955 E. University Drive, Tempe
480-894-2224
On the Web

Started in 1991, this upscale tavern has become the place for ASU students to go. The Tempe location is within walking distance of the university, and the six other locations throughout the Valley have allowed this bar to really make a name for itself. 200 people can fit inside to listen to music ranging from '50s to modern-day hip-hop. Their smoking patio with fireplace and tables is also a fun spot to mingle.

Maloney’s features 11 beers on tap, soon to add another with a million-dollar remodel to be complete in the fall of 2008.

There’s a wide array of cuisine. Everything from Polynesian to American burgers to Irish specials on holidays to typical bar munchies.

Maloney’s is known for their décor: black-and-white Hollywood pictures and interesting quotes that provide the start of many conversations. You can also play pool on the second level and enjoy drinks at one of two bars. The multi-leveled layout provides everyone a perfect view of the bar.

“Our clientele base are people who want to kick back and relax in a welcoming atmosphere,” general manager Matt Elliot said.

Weekly Happy Hour Specials:
Mon.- Fri.: $1 off every drink except bottled beer
Sun. & Mon.: $3 Domestic pints
Tues.: $3 well drinks
Wed.: appetizer specials as well as $4 margaritas and $4 Coors and Miller Light liters
Thurs.: two-for-one you-call-it drinks and drafts from 8 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Fri.: $4 Jack, Captain, SoCo, and Red Bull and vodka from 8 p.m.- 1 a.m.
Sat.: $3 you-call-its, pints and bottles from 8 p.m. – 1 a.m.

Molly Brannigan's
1744 South Val Vista Drive, Suite 101, Mesa

"None but the finest Guinness Porter sold here," gleams the message embossed above the bar at Molly Brannigan's.

The original Brannigan's emerged out of an old Purcell tire garage in Pennsylvania, with other pubs opening up all over the state. The Mesa version is the first one to be based outside of PA, and it keeps all the tradition of the original alive, including a menu item with a nod to the pub's humble beginnings: the Purcell fish and chips.

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