Lick your lips for some fish and chips

Allison Remcheck

Flannery’s Pub on Prospect Avenue in Cleveland is nearly Irish – minus the accent.

Dark paneled walls and cozy booths add to the atmosphere in this Victorian building, but it is much louder, larger and newer than any pub in the United Kingdom or Ireland.

And the service is also much better.

We were seated within 10 minutes, despite the hoards of people gathered in the bar drinking up before the Kent State basketball game, and had our food shortly afterward.

Although the pub is primarily Irish, different dishes from the United Kingdom are presented, as well as some American fare for those whose taste buds would rather stay close to home.

I noticed a few things about Flannery’s menu are different from a traditional pub:

The Fish and Chips ($9.99) did not involve an entire fried fish with a bone still attached, and it was also much less greasy than its European counterpart. However, there is no equivalent in America to real British chips.

No pies included kidneys, and it’s pleasant to know you will not accidentally chow down on an organ. But the menu made a couple mistakes with the names of their pies:

The shepherd’s pie ($8.95) is made with ground beef, whereas the name shepherd’s pie means the pie is made with ground mutton. Cottage pie has “mince” or ground beef. But Flannery’s cottage pie ($9.95) is made with chicken, which is just wrong.

A turkey club ($7.95) would probably not be on the menu in Ireland – but this one’s pretty tasty despite the obvious un-Irishness of it.

On St. Patrick’s Day, Flannery’s opens at 5:30 a.m. for a nearly 24-hour celebration.

Anne Marie Miller, server and bartender, said all the tables will be pushed against the walls, and the pub will be filled to its maximum capacity of around 350 people. There is a $5 cover charge for those who can get in. Last year, the line stretched down the street outside.

For drinks, “The Perfect Pint of Guinness” is the St. Patrick’s Day special ($4.95). It takes an entire minute to pour one pint.

Since the tables are pushed aside, only finger food – such as the lovely fish and chips I tried – will be served.

WGAR, local country radio station, will broadcast live from the pub until 10 p.m., and during that time all proceeds will go to St. Jude’s Hospital.

A variety of entertainment will undoubtedly come in throughout the day, Miller said, including the scheduled Irish punk band, Boyz From County Hell, and the “Bead Guy,” a man who wanders around Cleveland in a red and green kilt with a neck full of beads on St. Patrick’s Day.

“Random Irish communities will just come in and play for us,” Miller said.

Watching drunk patrons also provides good entertainment.

“A lot of people fall,” she said. “It’s pretty hilarious when they stand up and they’re just soaked.”

The verdict on Flannery’s Pub – not Europe, but I liked it anyway.

Contact features correspondent Allison Remcheck at [email protected].