A friend insisted that it was important for us to eat at an Irish pub before the month was out. In mid-March, they’re too crowded, she said, but now would be just right. I didn’t argue. I lived for decades in Rolla, the only place on earth that celebrates St. Patrick’s Day for three months of the year.
So this week, we headed to Dogtown and my friend’s favorite watering hole: Seamus McDaniel’s. This is a familiar area to me; my daughter had a house on Louisville for a number of years. Before I moved to St. Louis, it was my home-away-from-home. The old Irish pub reminded me of some I had been to in Ireland. McDaniel’s wasn’t the Crown Pub, but it did have the wood-paneled walls and the warm feeling of a neighborhood landmark.
As I recall, Crown, the Belfast pub, had carved-mahogany booths, etched glass, gas lamps, and elaborate tiles. Since 1820, the barroom has discretely serving up pints of Guinness in its ten enclosed booths, or snugs. Each cubicle is decorated with stain glass, its own service bell, and a wall plate for striking matches.
But Crown Pub is an ocean away; Seamus McDaniel’s is just down the highway. When I asked about their much admired burgers, our server flashed a big smile and said they were “huge, juicy and delicious.” Even so, I went with the cod—which my friends had suggested—while one of them got a Reuben and the other the pulled pork.
It was mid-afternoon and past the lunch hour, but there were still a number of people eating and visiting. The eclectic clientele included families with young children, suited business men, students, neighborhood residents, and several women dropped off by the senior citizens’ van waiting outside the door. This could easily be a place where “everybody knows your name.”
Seamus McDaniel’s, 1208 Tamm. Open: Mon – Sat 11a-1a. Closed Sunday. Gallery of food and photos here. The adjoining patio at McDaniel’s—like the burgers—is huge. It’s enclosed for year round use, but the large doors on each side open during warm weather.