WEST OCEAN CITY — Giuseppe O’Leary’s is just the right kind of dark for a pub. The dining area that doubles almost as an anteroom filters the light from the street such that the pub can be lit by that, the televisions and the fireplace alone should the mood require it. The fireplace, set against the far wall is flanked by two generously stuffed leather chairs. The chairs, though, are low-backed, dismissing at once any suggestion of clubbiness. This is a pub.
“Giuseppe O’Leary’s” is only a partially ironic name. When they opened it nearly three years ago, the Lobue family wanted to marry the strengths of two cultures — Italian cuisine and Irish Public House. The emphasis behind the bar is on quality beer, the emphasis at the table is the kind of Italian cuisine that can be measured on its own, rather than only regionally.
“Everything hear is homemade,” Nick, the elder Lobue said. From the sauces to the various pastas and every meal is prepared to order which makes the kind of difference a savvy diner can appreciate.
Tom, Nick’s son, runs the bar. If it were possible to take excessive pride in an impressive pub, he boarders upon it.
Earlier this week, in something of a coup, he took delivery of a special beer from 16 Mile Brewery, in Georgetown, Del. The Oyster Stout, which is that brewery’s up and coming beer, is generally available only in the brewery, but Giuseppe O’Leary’s are exceptional customers and were rewarded for their brand loyalty with the exclusive beer.
Getting their hands on this stout wasn’t a complete accident. Giuseppe O’Leary’s is preparing for their annual St. Patrick’s Day party which is fast becoming legendary. For many, the St. Pat’s experience has an amateur night feel, but at the West Ocean City establishment, it is a party for grownups.
With a strong emphasis on quality beer, food and entertainment, the Giuseppe O’Leary’s St. Patrick’s Day party is an event for people who can tell the difference.
Although they specialize in Italian food most days of the week, Giuseppe O’Leary’s will serve Irish staples in honor of the holiday. Corned beef and cabbage, and shepherd’s pie were two obvious choices but also on the menu is Guinness stew.
When properly prepared, Guinness stew is maybe the closest the Irish come to a delicacy. The use of the stout gives the dish a particular flavor where the beer’s bitterness is softened by the meat’s seasonings to produce a unique, almost epicurean, taste experience.
In addition to special dinner prices for the evening, Giuseppe O’Leary’s will offer special draft prices all day. Murphy’s Stour, one of the many high quality beers they have on tap, will be St. Patrick’s Day priced at, novelly, $3.17.
While they’ll have Irish music playing for the better part of the day, they’ve also arranged to have local musician Troy Mawyer come in to entertain patrons 6-9 p.m. Saturday.
Giuseppe O’Leary’s is located on 12703 Sunset Avenue. For more information call 410-213-2868 or find them on Facebook.