In an old ivy-covered brick building, next to Tupper & Reed’s Music Store, this Irish pub is a recent addition to Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley, California. Both floors have beautiful rooms with walls of exposed brick and dark wood.
Boddingtons and Caffreys Irish Ales and Guinness Stout and Murphy's Irish Stout are available on nitrous draught in imperial pints at $4-5. There is a small selection of prosaic domestic beers on draft for prosaic domestics as well.
Their (mostly deep-fried) selection of starters are salty, in the hallowed tradition of good pub food. I recommend the dish of fried green beans with an oriental sauce, the calamari rings, the onion rings, and the curry chips, even though I doubt that any of them are actually Irish food.
Their fish and chips are very fine, and considered by some to be the best in Berkeley. Large chunks of white fish, dipped in a slightly tart beer battered, and fried golden. Wonderful.
But for the love of God, do not order the corned beef. My first time there, celebrating the opening of my friend's gamestore, this is what I ordered. It came, three dry slices of tough reddish meat on top of a short pile of steamed cabbage. I hear you thinking, from the description, it don’t sound half bad. But then it was covered in a pasty white “gravy”. Cutting into one of the much too regularly shaped pieces of meat product, the matted and woven nature of the tissue repelled my knife. Attempting to eat this chunk of flesh was similar to chewing on a piece of elastic. After struggling to kill my meal for a few minutes, I just sent it back, and asked for the fish and chips, which are very fine, thank you.
On Bloomsday 2002, I and three of my friends went to Beckett’s. I had been hoping for some bit of celebration or at the very least, a reading. But it seemed that I was the only one there who had brought my Ulysses. Later that evening, a quartet of banjo, string bass, violin and washboard showed up and began playing bluegrass.