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Livin' Local: A Taste of the Old Country: Your Friendly Neighborhood Pubs

 By Mike Sweeney


“Here’s to a long life and a merry one

A quick death and an easy one

A pretty girl and an honest one

A cold pint – and another one!”


— Irish drinking toast


In recent years, many Strip casinos have launched their own version of a traditional Irish or English “public house” serving up cold beer and fatty bar food. While it’s hard to resist the siren song of a good pint, many of these places are simply chasing a trend, catering more to the tourist crowd while sadly lacking a sense of culture and community. But venture out into the local neighborhoods and you’ll find a bustling pub scene offering plenty of good craic! That’s pronounced “crack,” and it’s got nothing to do with street drugs. It’s an Irish twist on an old English word that signifies just what we’re looking for: a good time being had by all.


My Kingdom for a Pint


Long favored by UNLV students and local ex-pats, the Crown & Anchor British Pub (739-8676; www.crownandanchorlv.com), located at Tropicana and Maryland Parkway, brings a dose of English authenticity to Las Vegas. The Tudor exterior and dimly-lit bar and restaurant evoke the old world charm of the British Isles. Pick your poison from over 30 beers on draught, from the best in English and Irish ales (Smithwick’s, Guinness, Newcastle) to great tastes from Belgium, Germany and beyond. Join their “Down the Hatch” Club by drinking all 30 beers on tap (not at the same time) and you’ll take home a free T-shirt!

Time-honored English cuisine, from bangers and mash to steak and kidney pie, comprise the menu. From noon to 10pm on Sundays, enjoy a traditional English dinner of beef or lamb roast with potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and sinful onion gravy. If you fancy something fit for a Yank, the British Burger can’t be beat. Order after midnight and get the whole half-pounder for just $4.95. Larger appetites can tackle their all-day “Full Monty” English breakfast, with two eggs, rashers (English bacon), sausage, grilled tomato, baked beans and toast. Your arteries might protest, but your taste buds will dance a jig.

For entertainment, show off your smarts on Thursdays at 9:30pm with Crown’s Quiz Night, where you and your mates can compete to win a $50 bar tab. Fans of football (that’s soccer to most of you) can catch the best matches here on the “telly.” There’s no need to leave man’s best friend at home, either, as dogs are always welcome on the inviting patio.

Happy Hour: 3-6pm daily; graveyard specials from 12am-6am daily.


Irish You Were Here


Next to the Orleans on Tropicana, you’ll find a Celtic haven called McMullan’s Irish Pub (247-7000; www.mcmullansirishpub.com). These “purveyors of the perfect pint” trace their publican dynasty all the way back to Thomas McMullan’s original public house in Ireland, which he bought in 1908. You’ll find a different draught beer on special every day of the week at just $4 for a 20oz pint. Enjoy a unique experience with the Draft Master Table, which lets you pour your own beers without leaving your seat. Just put down your credit card for a tab and serve yourself.

Food choices here include plenty of customary Irish fare. Start off with homemade crisps (potato chips) with Marie Rose and curry dipping sauces. Pile on cheese, bacon, tomatoes and sour cream and you’ve got their famous Irish Nachos. Don’t miss out on the beer-battered Coast Road Inn Fish & Chips, named after the original family pub in Ireland, and sample some Diddy’s Irish Stew with delicious braised lamb and a side of brown bread.

McMullan’s has its own version of the traditional Pub Quiz every Tuesday at 8pm, with a $100 bar tab going to the winner. On Saturday nights, John Windsor performs live music with plenty of jokes and Irish toasts to keep you in stitches. There are numerous other events and charity gatherings held throughout the year, including a “Halfway to St. Patrick’s” party every fall so you don’t have to wait an entire year between full-tilt, call-the-cops Irish celebrations.

Happy Hour: 3-6pm and 10pm-2am daily; graveyard specials from 11pm-7am daily.


When One Wife Isn’t Angry Enough…

The name alone is enough to draw you into Three Angry Wives (944-4411; www.threeangrywives.com), located in Boca Park in Summerlin. There’s nothing angry about the warm hospitality, cold beer and good food you’ll find here. With plenty of athletic events always playing on their many TVs, Three Angry Wives has the feel of an Irish sports bar with  traditional pub décor. Comfortable couches and chairs fill the casual lounge area, giving this place a more laid-back feel than some of its brethren. If you’re lost on your way to the Emerald Isle, an old-fashioned road sign above the bar points the way to Dublin, Kilkenny and Tipperary.

The pub grub here is a bit more Americanized but still tasty from start to finish. Kick things off  with potato skins, onion rings or mozzarella sticks – or go with the sampler platter if you can’t pick just one. There’s no shortage of sandwiches, including a tasty chicken cobbler ciabatta, a breaded chicken breast topped with cobbler baked apples and dried cranberries. If you’re feeling more traditional, the corned beef and cabbage is lean and plentiful and the shepherd’s pie has a creamy mashed potato topping with plenty of juicy chopped sirloin and green beans inside.

Happy Hour: 2-6pm, Mon-Fri, half off all beers and select appetizers.


A Quinn-tessential Public House

Located inside Green Valley Ranch, Quinn’s Irish Pub (249-3919; www.greenvalleyranchresort.com) has a more intimate feel than some of its brethren, though it still provides a lively atmosphere and a friendly staff that’s eager to please. There’s no food here, but you can quench your thirst with their daily 5-4-3 beer specials ($5 Irish Car Bombs, $4 Imperial pints, $3 pints) or whatever else wets your whistle. If you’ve got a high tolerance and decent aim (or you’re looking to impress that fair lass across the room), take advantage of their custom beer pong tables and challenge your mates to a round of competition.

For some of the best live pub music in town, stop by on Thursday and Saturday nights to check out the unique sounds of Darby O’Gill and the Little People. With a mix of traditional Irish standards and fun Celtic renditions of everything from Jay-Z to Justin Timberlake, they’ll have you singing, dancing and laughing until your glass is empty. But make sure you grab another, because Darby’s always ready with a toast. A man of many talents, Darby also showcases his signature dry wit and a healthy dose of Emerald Isle camaraderie as host of the weekly Pub Trivia on Tuesdays at 7pm.

Happy Hour: 12-6pm daily, buy one pitcher and get another for half price.

Whether you’re looking for a fun evening out with friends or just a quick beer after a long day at work, these neighborhood pubs will take good care of you. So stop by and raise a glass to the Old Country with friends old and new. Who knows, you might even become a regular. Sláinte!

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