By MADOLINE MARKHAM
The dim-lit interior of Mt Laurel’s newest eatery is rustic. There are no backs on the dark wood bar stools or chairs so that everyone can easily mingle.
“We wanted a pub as rare as the red shamrock,” the pub’s owners said.
A perfect place to watch sports, The Red Shamrock boasts a giant 200-inch HD projection screen upstairs and 120-inch HD projection screen downstairs as well as six 47-inch TVs throughout their space.
Friends Traci and Scott Griffin and Chris and Genell Ferrell opened The Red Shamrock as a close-to-home gathering place for their neighbors.
“Everyone in the neighborhoods around here says they don’t want to drive back in Highway 280 traffic after they get home at the end of the day,” Genell Ferrell said.
The Griffins, who live in Highland Lakes, and Ferrells, who live at the Chelsea/Sterrett line, became friends when their sons were on the same youth football team. While talking one day, they realized their area needed a place to hang out. One thing came to mind for both Chris and Scott: a pub, an Irish pub.
“Everything just fell into place,” Scott Griffin said. They found the former antique store space in Mt Laurel in October, researched European pubs, watched episodes of CHEERS for inspiration and renovated the space before opening The Red Shamrock in mid-December.
On the 17th of every month, the pub will host a St. Patrick’s Day Red Shamrock Party. The live music stage will host Irish and cover bands as well as karaoke.
The second floor space features a fireplace, dart board, bumper pool, theatre-style reclining chairs and the 200-inch big screen. The area serves as overflow space from downstairs or can be rented out by groups for meetings, supper clubs, Bunco or other occasions.
The pub also serves as a way to spread awareness for Hope for Gabe (www.hopeforgabe.org), a nonprofit the Griffins started after their son Gabe was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic disease in boys that results in progressively severe muscle wasting. Donated dollar bills hang on the ceiling of the pub with a message for Gabe until they are taken down regularly to fund research to fight the disease for which there is no effective treatment today.
The Red Shamrock’s menu is a mix of Irish fare and bar food: fish and chips, reuben sandwich, cheeseburger on Irish blessing pretzel bread, wings, Guiness stew, Blarney stones (fried balls of mashed potatoes) and Scotch eggs (hard boiled eggs baked wrapped in sausage).
There is also a kids’ menu that includes Lucky Charms and grilled cheese.
The bar features top-shelf Irish whiskeys and 12 beers on tap including Irish beers and a Crispin hard cider. They also always keep bottled beer on ice.
Their signature shamrock shots hold a chaser on bottom and liquor on top, which stay separated by a narrow neck in between the two. Customers can purchase the specially made plastic shot glasses for a couple dollars more than the cost of the shot.
The shamrock glasses along with other Red Shamrock glasses and “H4G” T-shirts are available for sale.
Even before the pub opened, area residents would stop by for a welcome and to make the space theirs. One couple brought them a Shepherd’s pie for the owners. An Irish couple gave them a shillelagh, a wooden stick that brings good luck, to hang over their door. Irish flags on the walls came from other area residents who had brought them back from Ireland and wanted them to be hung in the pub.
The owners are inviting any others in the area to bring framed in black and white family photos to hang on the walls of their community pub.
“Everyone wants this to be their place,” Chris Ferrell said.
The Red Shamrock Pub
42 Manning Place