In search of the perfect alcohol/caffeine duo
by Mark Luedtke
In a lighthearted protest of the Four Loko ban, which banned alcoholic beverages pre-mixed with caffeine, my girlfriend Devin and I decided to enjoy Irish coffee at local Irish bars for this happy hour column.
Dublin Pub enjoys a prime location on the southeast corner of Fifth and Wayne on the edge of the Oregon District with parking accessible from both streets and more next door in the evening. A tent for smokers covers the patio in front of the octagonal facade. Inside, a small stage sits at the front of the dining room with tables filling the room and booths along the wall running from the stage back to the bar. A fire blazed in the fireplace to the left of the bar in the nook, which also contains the pub’s humidor. Soccer matches played on the TVs behind the bar while ESPN broadcast from TVs over the booths on each side.
Recognizing us, the bartender Brian had our usual drinks for Dublin Pub – Devin’s well whiskey and Coke and my half & half – on the bar by the time we sat down. He also whipped up an Irish coffee to satisfy our theme, pouring premium Irish whiskey into a coffee and topping it off with a swirl of whipped cream while we listened to Irish rock on the PA.
Several regulars lined the bar, talking sports with Brian and engaging his acerbic wit. Two dividers on the bar separate the seating area into three isolated sections, so there’s little interaction between customers sitting at the bar. The advantage is small groups can enjoy relative privacy. Customers filled several tables, ordering early dinners.
Dublin Pup offers a large menu with traditional Irish fare and more, and we ordered the beef bully shot – a pile of hot roast beef topped with gravy typically layered over mashed potatoes and toast, served with a side salad, but Devin prefers to have all three items served on separate plates. In her best advertising voice, she said, “Those who don’t get it on the side, don’t know how to tackle this monstrous fare.” This was proven as we watched one girl who had never ordered this before wonder how to eat hers.
Drafts cost $5, well drinks $4, call drinks $5. Domestic beers are $2.50. Food starts at about $6. Happy hour at Dublin Pub is Monday through Thursday, 3-7, Saturday until 6 and all day Sunday. Specials are $1 off draft beers and 50 cents off domestic bottles and well drinks. Visit www.dubpub.com for more information.
Located at 101 E. Stewart, UD students should avoid crossing the Rubicon when heading to Flanagan’s Pub. Flanagan’s private lot was full when we pulled in, but parking is virtually unlimited in the connecting lots. Flanagan’s front door at the corner is emergency exit only, so visitors have to enter through the back parking lot into the back lounge. The small bar on the right was closed, but several patrons sat on the heated tent-covered patio out the door on the left. As we headed through the passage to the main bar, we could see and hear a healthy crowd inside.
The main bar lines the right wall, the dining area opens to the left, and small stage sits past it. Beer signs decorate the walls. The electronic dartboards, video bowling game and jukebox sat idle. TVs over the bar and by the stage all showed sports to Devin’s dismay. Several regulars sat at the bar and the dining area was nearly full as we grabbed stools. The crowd generated a lot of noise and energy, and the place bustled. Bartender Ashlee effortlessly pulled double-duty at the bar and on the floor while owner Pat Flanagan cooked. Between them, despite the large crowd, nobody waited for drinks or food.
I ordered a domestic beer and we looked forward to our Irish coffee. Flanagan’s didn’t have whipped cream, so Ashlee topped it off with a splash of Irish crème. Flanagan’s serves classic American bar food, burgers, sandwiches, appetizers and pizza starting at $5, so we ordered hot wings with nuclear sauce on the side. The wings come with celery and bleu cheese or ranch at no additional cost for $5.75 normally, but are half price along with all appetizers during happy hour except Fridays. That’s a great value.
Flanagan’s allows children until 9p.m., and Pat’s wife and children stopped by and said hello to the regulars. Happy hour runs from 4 to 8 p.m., Monday – Friday with $2 well drinks, metered, $2.50 domestic beers. Drafts are $4.50 and premium whiskey is $5. Visit www.FlanagansPubDayton.com for more information.
I don’t think our protest will have any effect on the Four Loko ban, but we had fun, and Devin discovered a new happy hour drink. She may order more Irish coffees in the future.
Reach DCP freelance writer Mark Luedtke at firstname.lastname@example.org