On the first night after the snakes were finally chased out of the old Bellanotte—our own local Celtic Tiger, Kieran Folliard, has completely Irish pub-licanized the old Block E space—I stopped in for a pint.
C’mere to me now: Do you know what music cranks in an Irish pub on the day after St. Paddy’s? Kiss. And Def Leppard. And Lita Ford. (Somebody must be sick of The Pogues.) But Kieran’s nails every other detail—the walls are covered with more knickknacks than an Irish grandmother’s crib, there’s plenty of pre-aged wood, the chandeliers are mishmashed, and the famous poetry room has been re-created with the same literary murals and old pictures of Seamus Heaney.
I hid away from the loud front bar and sat in the smaller Titanic Lounge and drank Guinness, like a good lad. A pint of plain is the thing to get at Kieran’s, because this is not a cocktail joint. I did try two cocktails—the Big Ginger and the Irish Snapper—and they were so sweet I turned the wrong shade of green. I also tried the Rare Vintage Reserve Jameson that’s only served in Kieran’s pubs. With more fire than most premium whiskeys, and more complexity than most Irish products, it was fitting enough.
600 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-339-4499, kierans.com