The latest Irish pub to come to Columbus is Kildare’s Irish Pub, which took up residence in the South Campus Gateway a few months ago. Kildare’s has an interesting feel to it — authentic, and quite elegant, decor meets crowds and the overall atmosphere of a massive kegger.
With two floors laden in polished wood, Kildare’s does its best to capture the genuine look of a pub you’d see across the pond. The downstairs feels like pretty familiar territory, its large bar decked out with soccer flags and an ample selection of Irish whiskey. Upstairs is more impressive; it’s scattered with some ornate dark wood tables, a huge copper brewpub bar and a second-story patio overlooking the happenings at the Gateway.
While the look is inviting — it’s possibly the nicest in a campus bar — the drinks and daily/happy hour specials will keep you around a while. The Irish whiskey selection is more than solid with a number of Jameson and Bushmills vintages. The steal of the day is Redbreast 12-year for $7. College students should bounce over to Kildare’s for a crash course on Irish whiskey. (If they’re buying, I’ve always thought I’d be a good teacher.)
The beer selection consists of 22 drafts and a nice bottle selection. The drafts are mostly imports and crafts ($5-$6) and there are a few domestic beers ($2.50) for the mainstream college palate. Wednesday night’s four-beer flight and sliders special ($9.99) is an opportunity for students to spread their beer wings. (Again, I’m willing to sculpt minds.)
The menu at Kildare’s consists of a variety of traditional Irish dishes ($13-$17) like bangers and mash, corned beef and cabbage and shepherd’s pie and bar staples like wings and burgers ($8-$10). The wings (10 for $10) take a novel approach — baked, then fried and then grilled with a Jameson glaze. The corned beef Rueben Spring Rolls ($7) are a tasty snack that goes perfectly with Guinness or Jameson — or both.