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“Doing Good” at The Banshee Irish Pub

The Banshee Irish Pub is one of Buffalo’s most authentic Irish pub experiences. Opened by four partners in the former D’Arcy McGee’s, The Banshee is a welcome addition to the diverse numbers of bars and eateries in the Chippewa District.

The Banshee Irish Pub is the only pub in Buffalo that has Fenian Ale on tap.

Not only is this new Irish pub found in a wonderful old historic building, it also features truly authentic aesthetics from the motherland, or “old country.” The bar itself, along with much of the ornamentation, was all imported from Ireland (when it was D’Arcy McGee’s), giving the establishment a very authentic feel.

Along with the authentic nature of the pub, another impressive factor is the sheer size of the restaurant, as well as the compartmentalized cozy accommodations. There are plenty of little nooks to choose from, including some library-esque booth seating that boasts a blazing fireplace.

There is also Irish ephemera on the walls, Irish newspapers on the tables, and various other objects of interest strewn about the place.

Of course the bar itself is the cat-sìth’s meow. There’s plenty of room to sit around the bar, drinking, singing, cheersing, or chatting with the professional bartenders.

Professional bar staff

As for the name, co-owner Conor Hawkins (also manages The Curtis Hotel, and self-professed lover of Liverpool FC, Cliftonville FC, and the Buffalo Bills) told me, “I sat around the table with my three other partners, and we talked about the catchy mythological name. Every Irish kid knows about the banshee… like Irish kids in Buffalo knew about being bad and getting sent to Father Baker. I’m from Belfast. My partners are Kevin Dargan (Dublin), Neil Coogan (Dublin), and James Corda (Buffalo). We wanted to create a place that we would want to go when we weren’t working, where Irish lads could eat authentic Irish food, watch futbol (soccer) on the TV, listen to good Irish music, and drink the best pint of Guinness beer in Buffalo. It’s what we wanted for all of Buffalo.”

In order to get the place back up and running in its refreshed capacity, some things needed to be updated. The floors were replaced, the walls were painted, the kitchen got a refresher with new equipment, stage lighting was added to the exterior of the building, the back bar coolers were replaced, 6 TVs were added (2 on the patio), and the draught system was replaced (to serve up a better pint, and colder beer).

As for being known as a destination soccer bar, Connor told me that he feels that Buffalo’s growing soccer fever now allows for a second soccer bar (The Banshee and Mès Que) to co-exist peacefully. There’s also plenty of room to serve up a tantalizing bangers and mash, or a Guinness stew – they are currently working their way towards offering a sensational full menu, with limited menu items in the meantime… until they catch the kitchen staff up to speed.

The second floor of the restaurant (formerly LiFT Nightclub) is being dedicated to private parties, events, etc. “We’re all older these days, and a little long in the tooth,” Conor said [laughing]. “The days of running a nightclub like that are over.”

And that’s good news for anyone who has been craving a one-of-a-kind Irish experience in a old world setting that rivals the best of them.

The Banshee Irish Pub | 257 Franklin Street Buffalo, NY 14202 | (716) 783-9003 | Facebook | Live music Fridays and Saturdays | Lunch and dinner

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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