Monday, March 12, 2012
Review - Finn McGuire's Irish Pub and Grill
Since this is the week we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, my first blog post will review an Irish restaurant that recently opened in Hales Corners. Finn McGuire's Irish Pub & Grill took over the space that previously housed
. They closed down for a few months to remodel and we anxiously awaited its opening since we love having nearby restaurants to choose from. Brisco County
Finn McGuire’s Irish Pub and Grill is, as its name implies, modelled after a pub in
and the inside is nicely decorated with an Irish pub feel, or what I imagine one would feel like. There are two large bars that both have multiple televisions with which you can catch whatever big game is playing at the time. The waitresses are decked out in short plaid skirts with knee high socks. Personally, I don’t care for the look, but, eh, at least I’m not the one who has to wear that get-up to work. The atmosphere is casual and friendly, similar to Champp’s Ireland , with current and not so current music piped overhead. Americana
The meals we have had so far (Rueben, French Dip, Chicken Wrap, Pastrami Sandwich) were both average to above average. The menu isn’t huge, but it contains a nice array of sandwiches and burgers and a few typical Irish entrees that vary by the day. They also have homemade chips which are pretty darn good. I’ll take homemade chips over French fries any day! I believe all sandwiches come with chips/fries, a small container of coleslaw, and a pickle. Most are in the $8 range. I swear that on our first trip the prices were a bit cheaper which added to the restaurants appeal. You don’t find many places with $7 sandwiches anymore. But, after looking online I found a different story. Maybe they increased prices already? Or maybe it was just a figment of my imagination. Regardless, the prices are reasonable. They also have all of your typical Irish beers and ciders and the menu has a list of layered beer drinks if you can’t decide on just one type of beer. On Saturday nights they also have a live band. We’ve never ventured out to see this as it starts at 10pm and we’re old and ready for bed by then! But, it’s a nice late night entertainment option in an area that doesn’t really have any.
On our first trip we were deterred from going at the sight of the packed parking lot...and the fact that we couldn't find a spot to park. We later realized that it seems to be a pretty popular after work hangout and because of this, the parking lot shouldn’t be a judge as to how long the wait will be. Many of the people inside are just hanging out at the bar and not waiting for a table. Even if there is a wait, with two bars you can probably easily find a spot to sit and enjoy a black and tan or a Guinness.
My only big complaint is that their service has much to be desired, with our second trip being worse then our first...empty drinks, food came but no utensils, not bringing or offerring to bring the check when plates and glasses were empty. I have a feeling the waitresses are newbies still learning the ropes. Maybe it was the first busy night for our waitress. If I was an experienced waitress I wouldn’t work somewhere where I had to wear an ugly skirt with knee high socks either! We’re hoping that in time these waitresses will learn the ropes and the service will improve because it really is a much needed restaurant in this area.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give Finn McGuire’s a 6. It’s close to home, the menu offerings and prices are good, and it has a nice casual atmosphere unlike other restaurants in the area. This rating would be bumped up to an 8 or 9 if the service was improved. I’m sure we’ll stop in every now and then because of its convenience and casual style and I can only hope that they stop making the waitresses wear those silly skirts so that they can find more experienced help.