Beer is something that Richmond does really well. Restaurants is something we do even better. But a pub is more than just great food and libations, it’s a community gathering place where locals and out-of-towners alike meet to talk news, have a few laughs, and shoot the breeze with friends. In a pub there are no strangers; they say there are just friends you haven’t met yet. You could say they’re like a second home for folks that frequent them and a place of comfort for folks just passing through. There’s always a friendly face to welcome you with a pint and whether Irish or English, Richmond has some great ones.
Cary Street is a mecca of great local restaurants, bars, and pubs. And if you’re looking for a great spot to celebrate St. Patty’s Day, or just anytime you need a good time that only the Irish can provide, Siné is the place to go. Pronounced “Shin’áy”, this pub and restaurant is as Irish as it gets here in Richmond. The space was even designed and built in Ireland after the city pubs you find there and then transported here. If you’re going to grab a beer, you’ll find a wide selection between 3 different bar areas (one being their outdoor patio bar) and there’s live music and Irish dancing to entertain. And when it’s a meal you’re looking for, they offer traditional Irish favorites like Corned Beef and Cabbage and Shepherd’s Pie as well as American fare like burgers and a delicious Crab Cake Sandwich.
Don Williamson Photography
Located downtown on E. Franklin Street, this place transports you to jolly old England. The O’Neill family, who’s owned it since it’s opening in 1979, say they’ve brought a little piece of Liverpool right here to RVA. Penny Lane is as authentically British as you can get here in the states with any type of beer you fancy as it has one of the best tap selections around. As for food, they serve traditional English dishes that are to die for like Bangers ‘n’ Mash, Steak and Guinness Pie, and no English pub is complete without Fish ‘n’ Chips. There are two levels–a downstairs bar to relax and have a cold one and the upper level has darts and pool plus a dining room for a delicious meal. This is where Richmond goes for a taste of the English life.
photo credit: O’Toole’s Facebook Page
If you head out to Forest Hill Avenue, you’ll find this Irish joint that’s been a Richmond staple since 1966. It’s original owner, Jim O’Toole was a full bred Irishman who was the first of his family to be born in the US. His pub is one of Richmond’s favorite spots to grab a Guinness and a bite. O’Toole’s serves every kind of bar food you can think of and they do bar food really well here. And as you can imagine, they offer Emerald Isle favorites like Fish n’ Chips, Shepherd’s Pie, and Bangers and Mash too. As Richmond’s oldest Irish pub, O’Toole’s does St. Patrick’s day right with fantastic live bands, O’Toole’s swag, plenty of beer for any taste and green as far as the eye can see. It’s always a good time at O’Toole’s!
photo credit: Rosie Connolly’s Facebook Page
You can tell this is a true Irish pub as soon as you spot it and it has a great story behind it. Irish woman Rosie Connolly wished to one day come to the states and bring her beloved homeland here by opening a pub. She never made it, so her grandson lived out her dream and opened her namesake pub in Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom in 2004.
Rosie Connolly’s serves traditional Irish comfort dishes, and other bar favorites, and when you want a “bevy” you’ve got your pick of several Irish beers and whiskeys (among bottled domestics, other imports, and wine). Regulars swear by their beer mixes like the Pint of Gold (Fullers and Harp) or Poor Man’s Black Velvet (Guinness and Cider). They have great specials just about every day and who doesn’t love a night of karaoke?!
Here are some other Richmond pub favorites to check out: