McCaffrey's Irish Pub & Restaurant 

Swig: Profiles from Charleston's bar scene

245 Seven Farms Rd., Daniel Island

The warm and welcoming McCaffrey's Irish Pub fills a void in the Daniel Island bar scene as a stylish watering hole that can accommodate casual locals, curious tourists, sports fans, and veteran drinkers.

The newly-opened venue already looks like it's been in business for decades, with a Victorian-style decor and cozy setting filled with authentic bric-a-brac. It opened as part of the Guinness Irish Pub family, a business concept launched in Dublin in the 1990s by the famous Irish brewery.

The owners put a lot of effort into creating the seemingly vintage "Irishness" of the pub, from the pressed tin ceiling and faux finish walls to the elegantly framed portraits, antique handbills, handsome bookshelves, and a pair of empty fireplaces facing each other across the main dining room.

"You really have to see it to appreciate it," says general manager Chris DeStefano. "The entire pub contents were built in Ireland and shipped over here, then reassembled by Irish craftsmen. The result is truly a special place with a lot of character and attention to detail."

Currently, the pub offers eight draft beers (poured in 20-ounce Imperial pint glasses) — including Guinness Smithwick, Harp, Boddington, Bass, Stella Artois, Blue Moon, and Yuengling. Unfortunately, there's no Irish "dry stout" like Beamish or Murphy's on the list, or any of the American variety from Samuel Adams, Anchor, Sierra Nevada, or Rogue brewing companies. A newly-available high-gravity stout or porter would complement things nicely as well.

McCaffrey's also boasts a decent wine selection and a standard list of domestic bottled beers, but they emphasize a menu of high-end single malt scotches and Irish whiskeys.

Open seven days a week, the McCaffrey's offers a mix of traditional pub fare (shepherd's pie, Irish stew, corned beef and cabbage, beer-battered fish and chips) and familiar coastal dishes (she-crab soup, crab cakes, fried oysters), with burgers, sandwiches, soups, salads, steaks, and desserts.

While they play a mix of Irish/UK contemporary pop and Dave Matthews over the stereo during the afternoons, the McCaffrey's live music schedule is usually a Thursday/Friday/Saturday evening deal (starting around 8 p.m.), with acoustic solo and duo performers handling a variety of Irish/Celtic tavern favorites, folk, and Americana styles. Weekly "open mic" and bluegrass nights are already in the works.

For beer lovers, there's almost nothing better than aa perfect glass of Guinness. Whether from a comfy chair at a round table by a frosted window or at the busy bar counter, McCaffrey's might just become a favorite spot for stout enthusiasts to order a chilled glassful.


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