Edit ModuleShow Tags

Review: O’Brien’s Public House


O'Brien's Public House
Fish and chips at O'Brien's Public House in Shakopee. Photos by Jason DeRusha.

I’ve never understood why the area south of 494 is such a wasteland when it comes to quality, locally-owned restaurants. So many people live there! Take Shakopee: it has a population of about 40,000, and it's got Valleyfair, Canterbury Park, Badger Hill (a nice new brewery), and this week I had a great lunch at an excellent Irish Pub.

O’Brien’s Public House just opened a couple months ago. Scott and Jody O’Brien transformed what used to be an auto parts store, and before that a Ford dealership, into a brand new pub that looks like it came out of Dublin. They added architectural antiques like a bar back that’s 150 years old from an old Irish pub in Boston and stained glass windows that come from the U.K. It's lovely. These authentic, old details have been combined with local craftsmanship: many of the stained glass windows were created by an artist in Shakopee and the bar was finished by a local carpenter.

The owners are local, too. Jody is a dentist, she owns a practice in Shakopee, and Scott is a developer who builds apartments and assisted living facilities in the area. They are bullish on downtown Shakopee, and have invested a lot (more than $3 million!) in the pub.

O'Brien's Public House
Lamb sliders at O'Brien's Public House

So how’s the food? It’s really good. You might recognize general manager Derek Sivula, who has experience at The Liffey and Kieran’s, so he knows Irish pubs. The menu is what you’d expect if you’ve been to one of the excellent pubs in the Twin Cities: Irish classics like a potato leek soup and really nice Cod fish and chips (battered with a PBR crust). Plus there's tons of burgers, and some unusual, but great items: lamb sliders topped with aged white cheddar and rosemary-mint aioli, and Banger Pops—banger sausages wrapped in puff pastry on a stick. 

The huge patio is open Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m.-bar close, and Sunday opens at 9 a.m. for brunch. In a part of the metro littered with chain restaurants, I'm glad to see some locally-invested people giving it a go in their hometown.

O’Brien’s Public House
338 First Ave. E., Shakopee

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Taste Blog

Blackberry Cobbler Recipe

Embrace spring with a sweet, tart and comforting dessert that mixes in a healthy fruit to boot

Pineapple in Every Bite Upside-Down Cake Recipe

Enjoy this twist on the classic cake with chunks of sweet, juicy pineapple maximizing the fruit-to-cake ratio in every taste

3 Drinks to Give Winter the Kiss-Off

West Seventh in St. Paul is bursting with drink options to usher in spring (which is just around the corner, right?)

Minnesota-Grown Greens Now Available Year Round

New locally and sustainably produced Revol Greens makes eating clean and green throughout the year even easier

What to Buy for the Perfect Minnesota Home Bar

From vodka, gin, bourbon, rum, and beyond: Minnesota spirit-makers recommend the best home-bar companions

Quick Moroccan Chicken over Couscous Recipe

Enjoy the exotic flavors of a long-simmered tagine in this easy version that’s quick enough for a weeknight

No-Fail Caramel Corn Recipe

Celebrate National Caramel Corn Day with this sweet crunchy treat—no special equipment needed with this easy recipe

Best Restaurant Bargains Before A Target Field Minnesota Twins Game

They're offering baseball specials, but do you know where to go? Check out these good deals on food before Twins games.

3 Things to Eat This Week: April 4-8

Tropical cake, drinkable flowers, and some mouth-searing spice
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags