McGonigal’s Pub is housed in the historic First State Bank of Barrington building. Over the years the property has served as home to a number of restaurant and retail businesses, most recently Wolf Camera. When the property became available Bryan McGonigal was able to bring his vision of a Traditional Irish Pub to the heart of downtown Barrington. The pub is warm and inviting and has been designed with great attention to detail, making it a great addition to Barrington’s Dining & Nightlife. On March 9th McGonigal’s celebrated it’s first anniversary and after you visit once you will see why McGonigal’s Irish Pub will soon become a Barrington Landmark.
On March 25th we interviewed Bryan McGonigal the owner of McGonigal’s Pub about his Irish Pub.
You are new to the bar and food service industry, what made you decide to open a pub?
After years of being a “professional customer” I was ready to turn my interest into a reality and tried to purchase a sports bar in a neighboring town. That didn’t work out, and then this great Barrington location presented itself and I felt that the town and location were perfect. I have found Barrington to be a very supportive and friendly community.
How would you describe your business?
McGonigal’s is a traditional Irish Pub serving over 20 different beers. We also have a great chef who has put a gourmet twist on traditional Irish fare.
What do you feel makes your business unique?
Being a traditional Irish Pub we serve a wide variety of beers, including higher end taps in Imperial Pints (20 ounces of beer per glass) Some of the Irish beers we serve are, Kilkenny which has a limited distribution, Guinness, Murphy’s, and Smithwick’s. We have live music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Often you will find the Europeon Sports Channels playing on our TV’s. We are also connected to the Wine Bar next store making it easy for customers of both establishments to move back and forth between businesses.
Does your businesses offer any additional services or events?
Yes, we support the Celtic Fest, Brew Fest, and Barrington Cruise Nights. We plan to have have Cub and Sox’s outings. We are sponsoring three Barrington Pub Crawls this year and also hope to bring an Oktoberfest to the village. We also have a second floor with it’s own bar and stage, that is great for private functions. There is an elevator for those not wishing to make the hike up the steps.
McGonigal’s is very close to the Metra station, do you get much train traffic?
We are a popular destination for Pub Crawls, and our train traffic is increasing everyday.
What surprises you most about owning McGonigal’s?
Everyday is a surprise! I have a great staff that respect each other.Our General Manager, Damien Dunne was born in Co. Kilkenny, Ireland. Damien has an extensive background in the bar and restaurant industry and collaborated on our menu. I listen to my staff and everyday I learn something new. Also, there are not enough hours in the day, I work 80-90 hours a week. I am on premises a lot.
What is your favorite item on the menu?
Probably the Shepherd’s Pie, although we serve a great 10 oz. prime burger and I do like our Reuben sandwich.
Brian McGonigal then introduced us to his chef Theodore Stay.
Theodore, can you tell us a little about your background?
I studied culinary arts at Johnson and Wales University in Miami. I then returned to Chicago and worked at a number of restaurants including The Four Seasons.
What is your favorite items on the menu?
I really like our Boxty, which is based on the traditional Irish Potato Pancake. We bake our own Irish Brown Bread and serve fresh Haddock in our fish and chips.
What do you find most challenging?
McGonigal’s shares the kitchen with the Wine Bar, and the menus for the two restaurants are distinctly different.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Spend time with my family and fish.
105 S. Cook Street
Barrington, IL 60010
Private Events: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hours of Operation:
11 am – 1 am Sunday – Thursdays
11 am – 2 am Friday – Saturday
11 am – 2 am Friday – Saturday
11 am – 10pm Sunday
11 am – 10:30 pm Monday – Wednesday
11 am – 11 pm Thursday
11 am – midnight Friday – Saturday
Family Friendly: Yes
Outdoor Dining : Yes