Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

May 4, 2006 at 8:03am

Hip Irish pub

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When Doyle's Public House first threw its doors open, the thought was it would be a "soft rollout."
Fat chance.
Maybe the proprietors of Doyle's didn't realize how desperately downtown Tacoma had needed  a hip Irish bar and that people would immediately be drawn to it. They showed up so swiftly that Doyle's ran out of food in its first week, every kind of food, but the establishment is quickly learning what to expect.
I dropped in based on insider information I received from the cute guy at King's Books (next door to Doyle's). He'd already had great experiences there and recommended the Cheesy British sandwich. I had no excuse to skip it; Doyle's is approximately 1.5 minutes from my day job (score!).
With architectural drafts still rolled up in the corner, every table in the house was taken by 5:30 p.m. on the Thursday that I was there. Finally, a happy hour spot with lots of people. The whole place was abuzz about how downtown - and especially the St. Helen's neighborhood - is transforming. Go T-Town! Business owners were stopping by to exchange pleasantries and welcoming gestures. Enough businesses are starting to line the streets now, and the owners are able to get good at the referral game.
The menu features hummus (incredible), sandwiches, soup, salads, spicy nuts and chicken wings. Doyle's just started serving lunch, and Irish delectables such as bangers and mash, shepherd's pie and Guinness stew will be available.
Doyle's maintains 12 beers on tap with such greats as Stella, Harp, Guinness (it's what's for dinner) and what was referred to as the Caucasian Guinness: Boddingtons. I recommend the Ayinger, a German banana-clove hefeweizen, which will be fantastic during the approaching sunny days. They also have Irish essentials such as Bushmill's and Jaimison.
There's no glass cooler, so instead, patrons get to marvel at what we early adopters are calling the "beer bidet," a little whirly bird that shoots water like a fountain in each glass, cleaning any potential residue, while chilling the glass. You even get to drink out of the specialized glass from whichever of the beers you choose.
The weekly specials sound promising: Blue Monday, $2 Labatt's Blue and $2 bottled beers; Tuesday, $2 bottled beers, Wednesday, knowlege night, starting at 8 p.m.; Sunday bloody Sunday, $3 bloody marys all day long. Sign me up!
The ambiance is unbeatable, and is right in step with the funk of St. Helen's. Doyle's features a long oak bar with a brandy-wine finish, brick walls with exposed support beams, concrete floors and soft green and mustard walls in the back. In Irish step, "It's a great day for a Guinness" and all of the other Guinesss renderings are mounted on the walls.
Doyle's is Dave, one of the owners, first bar. He previously worked as a food and wine wholesaler. Dave skillfully bartended and took care of the entire restaurant. When he dropped a glass, he recovered with "Hey! It's a Greek restaurant now!"
A very steady stream of people continued to enter all night long. I reluctantly had to leave early, but I can only image how fun the late nights are going to be.
More than anything, it's just nice to watch the American dream in action.
As the antique Irish prayer goes, "May the road rise up to meet you."
*Wink.*
Doyle's Public House, 208 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma, (253) 238-5359.

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