With the June opening of Brody's Irish Pub on the west side of Aurora, the bar is filling a need for those seeking a local watering hole in a sea of chain restaurants nearby. Tucked into an unassuming strip mall on the north side of Galena Boulevard, Brody's takes over the former digs of Patrick's Irish Pub. More American sports bar than Irish pub, Brody's seems to be developing a loyal following.
Motif: While Brody's touts itself as an Irish pub, decor-wise, there wasn't much to suggest this, other than the requisite neon Guinness beer signs and Guinness and Harp on tap. When we visited on a recent Friday night, the dark wood bar area was the life of this pub -- a place for friends to gather, drink beer, down shots and catch up. Five flat-screen TVs hang above the bar and all were tuned to sports, including baseball, UFC/boxing, horse racing, classic sports and sporting news. Exposed brick and dark wood paneling and high-top tables add to the ambience near the bar. But the dining area up front, with its lower tables and green-backed booths with a few flat screens mounted near the ceiling, remained mostly empty during our visit.
Brody's Irish Pub1941 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora, (630) 892-2763, brodysirishpub.com
Hours: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday; noon to 10 p.m. Sunday; closed Tuesday
Food: The menu offers standard American appetizers like chicken wings, beer-battered onion rings and mozzarella sticks, all of which were described to us as "just regular." Our order of four oversized potato skins, topped with Monterrey Jack cheese, bacon crumbles and green onions, was ample for sharing, or it could be a meal on its own. The pub offers a long list of sandwiches like Brody's famous Reuben, corned beef, Brody's pork chop tenderloin and a patty melt. Other options include a few salads, wraps and pizza.
The entrees were Irish-tinged, such as corned beef and cabbage, Guinness stew and shepherd's pie. We were unimpressed with the beer-battered fish and chips, which came out with four skinny strips of fish heavy on the batter and served with shoestring fries.
Liquid consumption: On draft are beers like Guinness, Harp, Smithwick's, Carlsberg, a few Budweiser beers and Angry Orchard cider (a plus that it was on tap). Other beer options are available by the bottle, displayed along the back wall behind the bar. Mixed drinks and a small selection of red and white wines, including a moscato that my friend tried, are listed on a standing menu on the table.
Crowd: The casually dressed crowd, which trended in age from upper 30s to fifty-something, included singles hanging out at the bar, a group continuing the fun after an afternoon on the golf course, friends out after dinner, plus a few couples.
Service: We were quickly greeted by our friendly waitress who checked in with us often. But once she closed out our bill because of a shift change, no one else stopped by to check on us.
Music: When we arrived, there was a singer covering older rock hits in a partitioned section near the bar -- perfect for karaoke, which happens at 8:30 p.m. Thursdays. The volume made conversing difficult at first, but once the singer finished, the subdued piped-in rock music served as a nice background.
Other bar events include trivia night at 8 p.m. Mondays and line dancing on Wednesdays. Check Brody's website for upcoming bands on Saturdays.
Parking: Free parking was ample in the strip-mall lot.
Overall: If you're looking for a laid-back night out at a neighborhood pub, Brody's is a place to consider.