Rasher Tierney's, Home Of The Local Irish
Built by a Dubliner with materials from Ireland, the pub features Irish cuisine, Irish music and — naturally — Irish beer and whiskey.
Serving Irish beer and slapping a couple shamrocks on the wall doesn’t necessarily make a place an authentic Irish bar.
Rasher Tierney’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, 5106 14th St. W., comes as close to authentic Irish as one will find in Bradenton. Thomas Stynes, the bar’s former owner, hails from Ballyfermot, a suburb of Dublin, so he knows quite well what it takes to recreate an Irish pub in the states.
He built Rasher Tierney’s (known to locals as “Rashers”) more than seven years ago, bringing in carpenters from Dublin to assist in its construction. The pub was designed in Ireland in the style of the country’s classic Victorian pubs from the late 1800s/early 1900s known for their use of dark mahogany and teak wood accented by warm earthy colors in the walls and furniture.
The pub was built almost entirely with lumber and furnishings imported from Ireland. The bar and the furniture also come from the Emerald Isle, said Stynes, who recently moved on from Rashers and is renovating a storefront on downtown’s Old Main Street into a new Irish pub.
Stynes hopes to be slinging pints from the new pub, which he plans to call McCabe’s Irish Pub in honor of his grandmother, by St. Patrick’s Day.
But fans of Rashers and the local Irish need not fear. Rashers’ new owners, Don Baine and sisters Alina and Alise Copelan, said they don’t plan major changes to the local favorite except for a few minor tinkerings here and there to liven up the joint and attract a younger crowd. But they’re “keeping it Irish,” Alise said.
That should come as welcome news to the Rashers crowd, which includes plenty of Irish expatriates who were downing pints of beer and joyously singing along to the live Irish folk music last Friday evening.
An Irish bar without Irish beer on tap is blasphemous, and Rashers doesn’t offend. Of the 10 beers on tap, four of them are from Ireland: Guinness, Murphy’s, Harp Lager and Smithwick’s.
Draft selections also include domestic favorites Bud and Bud Light and other imports including New Castle, Bass and Strongbow. Bottled selections, which vary month to month, currently include Red Stripe, Beck’s, Sam Adams, Foster’s, Blue Moon, Magners (an Irish hard cider) and Woodchuck Hard Cider.
The liquor shelf includes, of course, a fine selection of Irish Whiskey — Bushmills, Paddy and Kilbeggan to name a few — along with other top-shelf brands of bourbon, tequila, vodka and scotch. Rashers also serves raspberry and green apple Smirnoff Ice and a variety of wines.
But Rashers isn’t just a watering hole. It’s known locally for its food as well as its drinks. The menu offers traditional Irish and Irish-American cuisine, along with a late-night selection of American bar food favorites.
Meals include seafood entrees, burgers and sandwiches along with food with an Irish flavor such as Irish stew, Rasher’s Famous Reuben, shepherd’s pie and corned beef ‘n cabbage with potatoes. It also offers popular bar munchies for those late-night hunger pains like onion rings, chicken wings, French fries and potato skins.
The live music isn’t always Irish, but it was last Friday night when Celtic Clan, the house band for Boston’s Black Rose Irish Pub, played three hours of Irish and American folk songs and popular tunes like the Boston-based Dropkick Murphys’ “I'm Shipping Up to Boston” and a couple Johnny Cash classics with a folksy, Irish twist.
The interior is designed for both dining and drinking. There are ample booths, tables and chairs on both sides of the 90-degree bar for an evening of dining with a group or perching on a bar stool. The main dining area also includes a stage area surrounded by more seating.
Indoor smoking is prohibited, but two outside decks provide plenty of tables and chairs for a nicotine break or enjoying a beer outdoors. There’s also a second, smaller dining area in the back that was a quiet escape Friday night, although some nights it hosts DJ music. Attached to the south side of the building but not accessible from the main bar and dining area is another bar and gathering spot without a kitchen. Smoking is allowed in there.
A bar built with lumber from Ireland, Irish music, Irish patrons and even a directional street sign inside the bar pointing the way to Dublin, Belfast and Killarney. If you can’t get to Ireland anytime soon, stop by Rasher Tierney’s.
IF YOU GO:
Rasher Tierney’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, 5106 14th St. W., is open from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. seven days a week. It serves lunch, dinner, late-night snacks and drinks. Visit the bar’s website for more information: www.rashertierneys.com.
AROUND BRADENTON THIS WEEKEND:
- The Skyla Burrell Blues Band is playing at Ace’s Lounge, 4343 Palma Sola Blvd., at 8 p.m. Thursday. No cover charge. Here is a description of the band from Ace’s website: “The Skyla Burrell Blues Band is a full time, hard working traveling blues band. The band averages 200+ shows a year. With co-founder Mark Tomlinson on lead guitar and Skyla Burrell on vocals and lead guitar, the band's live show consists of all original high energy electric blues.”
- Ladies Night Out at Tequila Beach Sport Grille, 7423 Manatee Ave. W., from 10 p.m. until close every Thursday. Ladies drink for free the first hour and discounted drinks for the rest of the night starting at 11 p.m. DJ music all night.
- Live music from the Vin Lamar Band from 9-1 a.m. Friday at Cork’s Cigar Bar, 425 Old Main St. The band plays some of Vin’s originals (he fronted the Sarasota band Stryker from 1992-2000) and covers. Check out www.vinlamar.com for more information. No cover charge.
- Hi-Way Bar, 420 301 Blvd. E., is hosting its monthly party this Saturday. Owner Roger Dorics is barbequing chicken and guests are welcome to bring side dishes. Stop by for a cold beer and a free meal! The food comes out around 5 p.m. Karaoke starts at 6 p.m.
- The Distillery Tavern, 108 44th Ave. E., is hosting a benefit for the Bradentucky Bombers all-women’s roller derby league starting at 8 p.m. Saturday. Live music from three bands: Lesson Learned, Pretty Voices, and BossHawg, $2 Pabst Blue Ribbon beers all night with purchase of a Bomber souvenir cup, raffles, 50/50 drawing and an auction to advertise your business on a derby girl’s keister during an upcoming bout. Also, some of the derby girls will battle one another in jello wrestling. Cover: $5.