100% Irish: O’Donoghue’s celebrates one-year anniversary

O’Donoghue’s Bar & Grill opened in June 2010 at 969 N. Collier Blvd. on Marco Island.

O’Donoghue’s Bar & Grill opened in June 2010 at 969 N. Collier Blvd. on Marco Island.

There is something comforting about a good Irish pub, a place where you can always find good food, friends, music and plenty of Irish beer. O’Donoghue’s on Marco Island is no exception to this comfort factor. The cozy pub of Helen and Peter Donaghy is celebrating its one-year anniversary this June and those who frequent the pub do so for the food, the atmosphere and the company.

The Donaghys are from Dublin, but have been in America for several decades. They had an O’Donoghue’s in Philadelphia 20 years ago, and when they decided to open a pub on Marco in 2010, they carried the same basic ideals from their previous business.

“We wanted good food and good music and a place like you would find in Ireland,” Helen Donaghy says.

The restaurant achieves their authentic Irish menu with a mix of good recipes collected from family and friends, and the use of good, whole, ingredients. You will never find frozen or pre-packaged potatoes going into the Colcannon or the fish and chips, the potatoes are peeled fresh by Uncle Phillip.

“That’s all he does, he comes in a peels potatoes,” Donaghy says.

There is no margarine found in the fridge here, only sweet Irish Kerry Gold Butter.

“People ask why is it better?” Donaghy says smiling. “It’s better because it comes from Irish cows.”

All of the food is made fresh, from scratch, every day from the Ballycastle Corned Beef Sandwich to The Best Shepherd’s Pie and all of the desserts.

“Even if it is more expensive to buy fresh ingredients, it’s worth it,” Donaghy says.

Add to the good food, a selection of good Irish beers and you get a winning combination, but O’Donoghue’s goes a step further to create an authentic Irish pub. No pub would be complete without Irish music that makes every guest want to tap their toes and lift their glasses to everyone present. During season there is music Wednesday through Saturday with Seisiuns (Sessions) on Sundays from 3 to 6 p.m. During the summer there is music Friday and Saturday nights and the Sunday Seisiuns.

“These are like a jam, you never know who is going to show up,” Donaghy says. “They all show up with their instruments, some get up for dancing.”

During season the pub is open seven days a week but during the summer they will be open Wednesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to close and Sunday from 2 p.m. to close.

They do have some specials for the summer. All entrees are buy one get one free with the purchase of two drinks (beer, wine, liquor or soda). The menu is slightly different for the summer, but the most popular dishes can be found along with a few new treats. Many people keep up with the current specials, music and other offers and events at O’Donoghue’s on their Website at odonoghuesbarandgrill.com.

“People are drawn when they see the sign for an Irish pub,” Donaghy says. “That has probably been the nicest part of the business, all the people that we have met and the friends that we have met over the year. Even though the first year is the hard part, I think we have started something good.”

Donaghy calls the restaurant a “family friendly” place where you can find people of all ages gathered to enjoy food, friends and music.

“We really want to express a heartfelt thank you to all of our patrons,” Donaghy says. “We have started something good and we are delighted with it.”

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