New Irish bar opening just in time for St. Paddy’s weekend

Want to spend your St. Paddy’s Weekend doing something truly Irish? Grace O’Malley’s Irish Public House is opening its doors at 157 North Trade Street in downtown Matthews on Saturday, just in time for the holiday that turns everyone Irish every year. There are legitimate Irish roots in this restaurant year-round, however — general manager Stephen Galligan is a Dublin native.

Galligan moved to the States in 2007. He worked in the restaurant industry for 24 years, but always strived to have his own pub. When an old BT&T bank building became available for lease, Galligan partnered with Mason Jar Group to take the plunge.

He thinks every town needs an Irish pub — and now, Matthews will have one.

“The restaurant will be a cross between Cheers (the iconic TV show) and an Irish bar that everyone feels welcome and a place where you can have instant conversation,” Galligan said. He said the pub is inclusive and family-friendly.

Photo by Sara Kendall
Reuben at Grace O’Malley’s

Chef Franke Jones has created a menu filled with Irish staples with Southern fare. Jones adds a unique twist on items like the Corn Beef Poutine – topped with corn beef, cheese curds, and whiskey peppercorn sauce. “Comfort foods from Ireland, including chips and curry, lamb burger and Maureen’s Shepherd’s Pie, are guaranteed to be crowd favorites,” Galligan said. Maureen’s Shepherd’s Pie is a recipe from Galligan’s mom.

[Related: 14 ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day]

A balanced blend of both Irish and American cuisine, vegetarian items and a kids’ menu will offer guests plenty of options. Specials of the week will often include hyper-local fare, with produce supplied by the farmer’s market across the street.

The restaurant’s name originates from Galligan’s childhood. Galligan grew up in a small fishing village on a street named Grace O’Malley Drive, which happens to be named after an Irish legend. O’Malley was a pirate who fought for the independence of Ireland, and she became a symbol of Irish hospitality.

Photo by Sara Kendall

In the spirit of their namesake, Grace O’Malley’s Irish Public House will be a welcoming place for everyone – business lunches to family gatherings to girls’ night out. Irish friendliness is renowned around the world and you can expect Irish hospitality when you come to Grace O’Malley’s, Galligan said.

Grace O’Malley’s opens Saturday at 1 p.m. with a DJ, drink specials, and a limited pub menu. On Sunday, doors open at 10 a.m. with St. Patrick’s Day festivities. More details available about their opening week here.