The Irish Rover

Mayor: ContemplateBeer (9) | Taps: 15 | Bottles: 40
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72
  • AMBIANCE 5/5
  • SERVICE 7/10
  • SELECTION 10/15
  • FOOD 8/10
  • VALUE 8/10
  • OVERALL 14/20
ContemplateBeer  (144) Louisville, Kentucky | March 26, 2016| Updated March 31, 2016
Overview: The Irish Rover may be the closest thing I have to a local; my family has been regular customers back into our earliest days in Louisville nearly a decade ago. This isnít some slick "plastic pub," on the contrary, I doubt you could find anything with this level of authenticity regarding Irish type pubs in our part of the U.S. The Reidyís, who own the place and always seem to be there when I drop in, are from County Clare. Theyíve taken this historic Frankfort Ave. property and created a little slice of Ireland to call their own. The bar area (which Iíve photographed above) includes booths and ample bar seating; thereís a small area near the entrance with games, books, a piano, and restaurant memorabilia. The plaque looking items above the bar are coats of arms from each Irish county, and they seem to be hand painted. There are two dining areas past the bar (mostly tables, but booths besides in the second smaller room), and a lovely patio area overlooking the avenue. Lots of authentic detail in every nook and cranny. Service is friendly, though not always prompt; a few minutes usually putter by when you are seated before you have a chance to order drinks. While the bartenders know their stuff, the servers are occasionally grasping for answers about details on the beer, especially the rotating taps.

Selection includes the beers youíd expect, but also a rotating selection from Country Boy, Against the Grain, Highland, Hammerheart and others. NABC also makes a couple of beers for the Rover, and the stout (Celtic Craic) is a winner. The food here is a mixture of Irish classics and family recipes, and itís criminally cheap- their Scotch Egg is a personal favorite, as well as the smoked salmon pate with house sourdough bread. The fish and chips are considered among the best in the city, and the garlic mushrooms are something Iíve tried to imitate without success for some time now... the drinks can be pricey, especially on rotating taps, so check with your server if this is a concern.

PROS: As authentic a pub as you might hope to find the the Midwest (to my knowledge); tasty and affordable food. CONS: Service can be a bit slow, and is not particularly beer knowledgeable; OVERALL: A locals type place that may not find itself on a "must visit" beer list any soon, but is still one thatís worth a visit, especially for the Irish pub enthusiast, and anyone who wants an inviting place for a beer and a meal. There is a small parking lot affixed, but otherwise itís street parking on Frankfort Ave. or nearby streets, so it can be a pain to find a spot at peak hours.
78
  • AMBIANCE 4/5
  • SERVICE 9/10
  • SELECTION 10/15
  • FOOD 10/10
  • VALUE 10/10
  • OVERALL 16/20
tectactoe  (73) Michigan | October 14, 2014
This place used to be my hot-spot back when I lived in Louisville. The beer selection isnít the largest or the best, but they have enough to get the job done. Where they really shine, though, is the fish & chips. Hands down, the best fish & chips dinner Iíve had in my life. Iíve had my share of fish & chips, & youíll never find one better than at the Irish Rover. The chicken cordon bleu bites are fantastic as well.
70
  • AMBIANCE 4/5
  • SERVICE 8/10
  • SELECTION 10/15
  • FOOD N/A
  • VALUE N/A
  • OVERALL 13/20
theisti  (737) Kansas | September 11, 2014
Visited later evening on a Wednesday with ContemplateBeer (Ryan). Neat older building with a number of rooms with tables and an outdoor patio. Nice bar up front, with very friendly and knowledgeable staff. In addition to the normal Irish Pub beer selections, they had New Albanian The Parting Glass Helles (which may be exclusive to Irish Rover), and a Country Boy Gose on. Not a world beating craft beer selection, though seemed as though they try to have an interesting beer or two on. Had a great conservation at the bar, and thoroughly enjoyed my visit.

70 = ★★Ĺ (Locals should check it out, visitors with extended time)

I only use the total score, not the component parts.
72
  • AMBIANCE 4/5
  • SERVICE 8/10
  • SELECTION 10/15
  • FOOD 8/10
  • VALUE N/A
  • OVERALL 14/20
Chudwick  (171) Cincyucky, Kentucky | August 1, 2014
great service! parking can suck depending on the weather and time of day. Love the food. typical beer selection with a few surprises. a must during the dead of winter.
84
  • AMBIANCE 5/5
  • SERVICE 9/10
  • SELECTION 11/15
  • FOOD 8/10
  • VALUE 8/10
  • OVERALL 17/20
rondphoto  (178) Lakeside Park, Kentucky | January 11, 2014
This is authentic an Irish pub as I have experienced anywhere out side of Ireland. The building is 100+ years old, the interior has the decor (windows, walls , ceiling) that seems like the real thing, especially when you add the full-blooded Irish owner. Food is authentic with ample portions of well prepared Irish fare, the beer list is somewhat typical with a heavy leaning toward Irish on tap. Good thing I donít live in Louisville; Iíd be there every night!
98
  • AMBIANCE 5/5
  • SERVICE 10/10
  • SELECTION 14/15
  • FOOD 10/10
  • VALUE 10/10
  • OVERALL 20/20
LoveScotchAles  (6) Louisville, Kentucky | April 30, 2013| Updated June 17, 2013
My local for over 20 years. I love this place. The food is excellent. Every time I go in for food (about once a week) I say Iím going to get something besides the fish and chips and nine out of ten times thatís what I get. The shepherdís pie and the smoked salmon are also very good. The beer selection is well thought out if somewhat limited. A nice eclectic bottle selection and good draughts tending to the classics - Guiness, Fullers, etc. - and local craft brews like NABC and Against the Grain. Well done Jason and the Reidys who own it.
76
  • AMBIANCE 4/5
  • SERVICE 7/10
  • SELECTION 12/15
  • FOOD 9/10
  • VALUE 7/10
  • OVERALL 15/20
NeoHippie2  (51) Louisville, Kentucky | March 25, 2013
This place is a classic. Food is awesome, pretty solid beer selection too. Quality service. Been here many times and each time Iíve enjoyed myself.
76
  • AMBIANCE 4/5
  • SERVICE 7/10
  • SELECTION 12/15
  • FOOD 8/10
  • VALUE 7/10
  • OVERALL 15/20
tmongoose  (100) Louisville, Kentucky | April 18, 2012
Long time to post this. Have been in here a few times.service always been good. Only have drank guineas in there. But they have plenty to choose from. Big wooden bar in one room and lots of smaller dining areas. Cozy place.nthe food has always been good from the scotch eggs to the fish and chips. A very strong following.

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