When the biggest bar holiday of the year comes knocking, you sit down with your team and have a serious conversation about the bar where you are going to celebrate. A lively discussion commenced and the finalists were chosen. The finalists all had certain merits in the dive bar designation. The Final Four bars we decided on were Flannigan’s Pub, Harrigan’s Tavern, Mack’s Tavern, and McGillicutty’s Pub. We look forward to visiting all of them in good time, but the one we went for this week just ahead of St. Patrick’s Day was McGillicutty’s Pub. It has been a staple in the community for over twenty-two years, and ready to go for a celebration of all things Irish.
What struck me first about McGillicutty’s Pub (1980 E Whipp Rd, Dayton, OH 45440) was their lack of pool tables. It is officially the first dive bar we went to that did not have one. But they did have one of the biggest virtual golf games I have seen, and plenty of electronic dart boards to spend some time with. There are plenty of televisions as well, perfect for coming in over the weekend and watching your bracket either slowly rise to the top or crumble into a thousand pieces as the Cinderella teams start to emerge. It is off the beaten path enough you should be able to find a seat with your twenty-two ounce beer without a problem.
The food menu is extensive. There is something for everyone, and it is all made to order in the kitchen. There is a wide variety of specialty pizzas, small appetizers, sandwiches, and wings. We did not get a chance to sample everything, but we know some people who did. The pizza was delightful, but I do not want to take anything away from the wings. The wings were delicious. The award winning Carolina BBQ Hot Damn Sauce was amazing. On Monday nights, the wings are $0.50 each, and we could not get enough of them. They were good enough to get one of our party that will not eat meat off the bone to dissect a wing so she could enjoy it. The sauce is on the spicy side, but not so spicy they will make you miserable. Even if they were, there is enough to drink to cool off your mouth.
The beer and cocktail menu…well, does not really exist. The beers they have on tap lean as far as this bar goes to the craft side of the spectrum: Blue Moon, Fat Tire, and some seasonals. They also have some classics on tap like Yuengling, which they were offering for $3.50 for thirty-four ounces on Mondays. They have tried offering more craft beers, but as we found out from our server and co-owner, the regulars like to stick to the basics. They have quite a few bottle offerings as well, including twenty-two ounce bottles of Bud Light for Sundays. Cocktails are more bespoke than anything else. They have their own unique specials, including a punch that sounds like a throwback to punches of yore: a variety of rums and available fruit juices, served so the whole table can enjoy such delights at a fair price. If you are there on Sunday, ask for their award winning Bloody Mary to get you through the morning.
Is this an Irish pub that will be doing Kegs and Eggs? No. If you really want one you can start off your day there on Thursday (10 A.M.) with an Irish Breakfast. Then you will be ready for green beer and specials on some of their more Irish fare. The Reuben sandwich and pizza will be discounted, and there will be an Irish stew added as a special for the day. The staff will also be working hard on their specialty cocktails like the Shamrock and Lucky Charm for those that may need to switch it up from beer for a drink or two. It will be busy on Thursday, and with some luck, their large patio will be available for all the revelers clad in green.
McGillicutty’s Pub is decked out in green and ready for St. Patrick’s Day, but it is a place to come and enjoy some camaraderie any time of the year. Everyone we spoke with was very friendly and willing to answer any question. Their Facebook page is the place to go to find all of their specials and to keep up with the events going on at the pub, like their drop in dart leagues (Saturday night) and karaoke (Sunday night). And if you are looking for a challenge, there is a record for drinking their thirty-four ounce mugs. One bold patron was able to consume eighteen in a day, with help from a friend to get him home after the feat was accomplished. While we will definitely be back for the wings and the light atmosphere, we will leave that record for someone else to break. Sláinte!