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Slainte! McCarthy's Starts Serving Alcohol Thursday

Guinness, Harp and Smithwick's will be on tap in the Historic Downtown Irish restaurant.

McCarthy's will begin serving Guinness and other brews on Thursday night. (courtesy, Neville Gardner)
McCarthy's will begin serving Guinness and other brews on Thursday night. (courtesy, Neville Gardner)

Starting Thursday, you can get a pint of Guinness with your shepherd’s pie or fish and chips at everybody’s favorite Irish-themed restaurant in the historic downtown.

McCarthy’s—formerly Granny McCarthy’s Tea Room—has received its Pennsylvania liquor license and the restaurant will celebrate this weekend by opening a makeshift bar that will serve a few classic Celtic brews on tap, as well as some Irish whiskeys and single malts.

The restaurant will also be serving some special fare, including a lamb shank and some “Guinness-inspired dishes,” said Neville Gardner, owner of McCarthy’s and the adjoining Donegal Square gift shop on Main Street.

It won’t be until sometime after Christmas—perhaps around St. Patrick’s Day—that a more permanent bar will be installed in the restaurant.

Gardner is planning a host of renovations to the rear of the building at 534 Main St. to enable restaurant expansion to seat 120 patrons.

Gardner would like to model his new Irish pub on The Crown Liquor Saloon in Belfast, which is one of his favorite watering holes in his native Northern Ireland.

A famous Irish landmark, The Crown is a classic example of a Victorian-era gin palace. One of the features Gardner said he would like to add are snugs—booths with doors.

An architect is currently working on renovation plans, some of which will require approvals by the city’s Historical and Architectural Review Board.

In the meantime, a soft opening of Bethlehem’s newest pub will come at about 6:30 p.m. First, a few of the restaurant’s servers will be trained by Guinness representatives on properly pouring the classic Irish stout.

The other brews available on tap this weekend will include Harp, Smithwick’s and Sly Fox, Gardner said.

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