You won’t be able to find any green beverages or little cloverleaf-shaped cookies at Delaney’s Music Pub & Eatery on St. Patrick’s Day – or any other day of the year, for that matter.
What you will find is authentic Irish grub and beers, along with owner Joe Wilson (no, not that one) who opened up his Saluda Avenue pub in Five Points in 1999.
One of the most popular items on the menu is Delaney’s Irish whiskey steak, Wilson said.
“It’s a 10-ounce, hand-cut sirloin that we marinate for at least 24 hours in Irish whiskey and a few other herbs and spices,” Wilson said. “It’s a unique flavor.”
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The second and third most popular orders are for shepherd’s pie (which Wilson is quick to point out is topped with housemade – not instant – mashed potatoes) and beer-battered fish and chips.
“The fish and chips is actually a really big cod filet near the size of the whole plate,” Wilson said.
But the most highly requested dish on St. Patrick’s Day is, without question, the corned beef.
“We’ll start cooking corned beef two days before St. Patrick’s Day and just keep cooking them through the weekend,” Wilson said. “We’ll go through a couple hundred pounds of it in that three- to four-day period.”
As far as the beverage selection of choice, Guinness on draft ranks supreme, according to Wilson. In fact, Delaney’s was once among the top Guinness sellers in South Carolina. The IPA craze hasn’t bypassed the pub, and a variety of regional IPAs are the menu, as well.
How did Delaney’s get its start?
A Furman graduate who was a strength and conditioning coach under Tommy West at Clemson, Wilson moved to Columbia and opened Delaney’s in 1999. A couple of years later, he opened Delaney’s Speakeasy down the road and opened Delaney’s in Spartanburg just two years after that.
Determining the genre of the business was never really an issue, Wilson said.
“I’m half Irish, so it made sense for me. Plus, I just like that when you go into a place that is an Irish pub you get a more warm, inviting, comfort food type of atmosphere than you would in a sports bar or just a general bar,” Wilson said.
What does the place look like?
Delaney’s has a true, cozy pub feel with low-lit hanging green pendant lights over booths, exposed brick walls and exposed duct work. A small stage offers a venue for live music.
Who eats here?
While Delaney’s is in Five Points and does draw its share of USC students, the pub’s mainly draws folks ages 25 and up.
“I don’t really cater to the college crowd,” Wilson said.
Though the theme of an Irish pub might not conjure up scenes from “Cheers,” the experience at Delaney’s may be more like the 1980s hit show than meets the eye.
“If you’re a regular, we know you when you come in; we know your drink, we know what you like to eat,” Wilson said. “There’s a difference between a restaurant and a bar – restaurants you go to eat, bars you go to drink. Pubs are where you go to do both. The socialization that comes with being a pub just can’t be beat.”
Delaney’s Music Pub and Eatery
WHERE: 741 Saluda Ave., Columbia
WHEN: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily
COST: From $10-$20 for a full entree
INFO: (803) 779-2345