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O'Donoghue's Irish Pub: A friendly gathering spot

Aug. 24, 2011

Jamie O'Donoghue would like you to know that despite its name, O'Donoghue's Irish Pub is more than a bar.

Driving by the business at 13225 Watertown Plank Road in Elm Grove, you might be fooled into thinking that it's merely a well-kept drinking establishment. It is that, but O'Donoghue sees it as so much more.

"This is a community center for everyone in Tosa, Elm Grove and Brookfield," said O'Donoghue. "The Irish community meets here, as do so many other groups. This is a place where people can come and meet people they've never met before."

Walking into O'Donoghue's, you'll notice a horseshoe-shaped bar, which promotes a lot of camaraderie between patrons. You'll also find a friendly, welcoming staff that makes everyone from kids to parents to grandparents feel at home, and plenty of seating away from the bar. There are banquet and party rooms for special events.

But O'Donoghue's brightest spot is its menu, which Jamie O'Donoghue says keeps people coming back. Some of the signature dishes include Black Angus chuck burgers ($7.95), 10-inch chicken, steak, shrimp or Reuben quesadillas ($10.95 to $13.95) and the Irish Reuben sandwich ($8.95). Also popular are the Friday fish fry featuring cod, perch or shrimp ($11.95 to $14.95) and the four-piece broasted chicken dinner ($10.95).

O'Donoghue's features live music several days a week. There is Irish step dancing on Wednesdays, Irish jam sessions on Sundays and live bands on Fridays. On Thursdays, there is a 16-piece jazz band called The Super Band that attracts a large following.

As someone who has been in the restaurant/bar business for many years and whose parents were in the business for 30 years, Jamie O'Donoghue understands two key components to his success: good employees and loyal customers.

"I'm very fortunate to have a great staff and great repeat customers. People are surprised at how good the food is."

O'Donoghue's is a little challenging to get to these days, thanks to construction on Watertown Plank Road, so the owner recommends following detour signs. The road construction should be completed this fall.

The Basics

NAME: O'Donoghue's Irish Pub

ADDRESS: 13225 Watertown Plank Road, Elm Grove

PHONE: (262) 641-2730

WEBSITE: odonoghuesirishpub.com

FARE: American/pub food

HOURS: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday

PRICE RANGE: $6.95 to $14.95 (approximate)

RESERVATIONS: for parties of 8 or more

HANDICAPPED ACCESSIBLE: yes

LOOKING TO 'GRAB A BITE'?

"Grab a Bite" is an informal look at the food scene in the Wauwatosa, Brookfield and Elm Grove area by freelance writer Karen Waldkirch. Whether you're looking for a place for a date night or a casual spot for lunch, Waldkirch will be out and about scouting eateries for you. If you have a suggestion for a column, e-mail her at kmwaldkirch@yahoo.com.

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