On the Rocks doesn't change much from the familiar formula of the small-town sports bar, and it doesn't really need to.
Happy-hour beers for less than $2? Check. Decent selection of pub grub? Check. Large, fancy TVs showing the most anticipated sporting events? Check.
What this small Dublin bar does, it does well - a standby in the Karric Square shopping plaza just east of the Mall at Tuttle Crossing.
Stopping in on a Monday around 5 p.m., I posted up at the bar, chatted with a very friendly tender and split eyeball time between SportsCenter and the Manchester City-Blackburn match. A few regulars popped in, but mostly it was a relaxed afternoon inside a clean, comfortable sports bar.
Not at all a bad way to end the work day.
Things generally start hoppin' a bit later, I was told, but the menu and good service should have more lunch-hungry Dublin workers stopping in for sammies, wraps, salads, wings and bar favorites given a good, deep fry.
A very tasty club sandwich coupled with crisp, slightly spicy fries will run you $7. Other selections include spicy garlic wings ($8 for 12), a Double Decker BLT ($6.50) and the Crispy Chicken Salad ($6.50).
You can wash things down with a modest range of drafts and bottles, which sticks mostly to American lagers but also includes slightly more exotic fare like Great Lakes Burning River and Guinness. Pints start at $2.75, well drinks at $3.50.
Once the lights go down, things start jumping with live local music Wednesday-Saturday, generally a mix of popular cover bands and upstart hard-rock outfits. Rap-rock and blues also find their way onto the small stage just inside the front windows.
Those just in for background sounds can enjoy two pool tables with plenty of shooting room, a pair of dartboards and an enclosed smoking patio.
On the Rocks bills itself as Dublin's epicenter of live music, and the bar features bands Wednesday-Saturday. All shows start at 9:30 p.m. Here's this week's lineup.
Thursday, Jan. 14: Blood, Sweat and Beers
Friday, Jan. 15: Blu Kuda
Saturday, Jan. 16: Codename: Eric
Wednesday, Jan. 20: Ten Hour Daze
Thursday, Jan. 21: Trailer Park Ninjas