Activities every night Irish pub offers fine dinner fare, weekend limo service

It may be off the beaten path, but Willie McBride’s is truly one of the best places to hang out in the mile-square city on any night of the week.

Located on Sixth and Grand streets, the cozy Irish pub and restaurant is an oasis of great entertainment and food on the west side of town. Every night, McBride’s has something going on. Tuesday is Corona Night, and the Hoboken Ski Club meets in the large back room; Wednesday is "Swing Night" courtesy of the Hoboken Swing Scene; Thursday is "Lik-Wid Jam Open Mic;" Fridays and Saturdays, cover bands hit the stage and play through the night. Saturdays and Sundays, they offer brunch.

Owners Sean and Maura Hession, who recently celebrated the birth of their first child, moved to Bayonne in the mid-’80s from Ireland, and in the mid-’90s they opened the bar in Hoboken. According to Sean Hession, McBride’s is designed to look like a traditional Irish pub. It’s fronted by a large wooden sign and an Irish flag. Inside, the bar is complete with satellite televisions for watching sports, and is surrounded by tables and couches. The dining area is on the second floor. There’s a back room with a pool table and stage. And everywhere you turn, there’s Irish memorabilia.

"We want to offer people a fun and joyful experience when they come here," Hession said. "This is a great environment for everybody."

Since McBride’s is not in the heart of the Hoboken’s bar scene, Hession saw the need to offer limousine service to the bar on the weekends. Patrons can simply call the restaurant and ask to be picked up free of charge.

"The limo is great for our customers. You call us up, we’ll pick you up," Hession said, smiling.

In addition to the wonderful entertainment, McBride’s offers an extensive traditional Irish and American bar menu. Their specialties include McBride’s cheesesteak ($9.25), served fresh on a roll with onions and sautéed mushrooms and green peppers; fish n’ chips ($9.50), served with steak fries and deep-fried in a beer batter; traditional Irish Stew ($10.25), served with fresh vegetables in a secret recipe; Irish sausage & mash ($6.95), served with McBride’s special recipe of creamy mashed potatoes; and shepherd’s pie ($9.25), served with real mashed potatoes with fresh seasoned ground beef and sautéed vegetables.

"Our goal is to present an authentic Irish pub and restaurant and serve good food, and we feel confident we have accomplished that goal," Hession said.

My meal

I started my visit with several pints of Guinness ($5) and an appetizer sample basket ($6.50). The sampler, big enough for two to share, included tasty onion rings, big and crunchy potato skins, and several mozzarella sticks. Other appetizers include nachos ($4.95), Irish curry chips ($5), a basket of fries ($4), buffalo wings ($5.25), and chicken fingers ($6.25). I also enjoyed a terrific McBride’s cheeseburger ($6.50). The large seven-ounce fresh burger was prepared medium-well done and it came with the melted cheese of one’s choice. It was one of the best burgers I’ve enjoyed in a long time.

I also tried the chicken breast special ($9.95). This large entrée came with fresh vegetables. The chicken was served tender with a tasty cream with a touch of garlic and spices. Other recommended entrees include the New York sirloin steak ($16.50), served with the vegetable of the day and potato; and the mixed grill ($9.75), grilled lamb chops and fresh liver served with vegetables.

McBride’s also offers a children’s menu with a variety of choices, a modest wine list, and different desserts every day.

Willie McBride’s is located on 616 Grand St. Their kitchen is open Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. The bar closes at 2 a.m. on Fridays and 3 a.m. on Saturdays. The all-you-can-eat Saturday and Sunday brunch is $9.95, and they accept all major credit cards and cater private parties. For more information call (201) 610-1522 or visit them on the web at q


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