PHOTOS: 9 Irish pubs that have become neighborhood darlin's

Irish pride returned to Corktown recently, with the 65th Annual Detroit St. Patrick’s Parade drawing revelers out on Sunday. Organizers say the event typically attracts 80,000 to 100,000 people, making it one of the largest St. Patrick’s parades in the country.

“On behalf of the United Irish Societies, parade sponsors, and participants, we’re thrilled this year’s event will be better than ever with all of the positive momentum in Corktown for everyone who lives, works, and visits the area,” says Mike Kelly, president of UIS.

But Corktown isn't the only place to celebrate the luck of the Irish. We check out nine neighborhood pubs across metro Detroit that are firm favorites. Do you have one? Pop it in the comments.

Dick O' Dow's, Birmingham

All dark wood and polished brass, this classy public house gives off more brooding Irish poet vibes than gimmicky leprechauns. Now open for more than 20 years, the establishment harks back to the Irish tradition of drinking songs and stories after an ale. Yeats would have loved it. 

Photo: Joe Powers

O'Connor's Public House, Rochester

Opened in 2005, this spot serves up Irish-inspired dishes and classics. Its name pays homage to a place regularly named the best pub in Ireland (surely a sort-after title), and it was built by a Guinnes-approved builder (it's a thing, look it up). The stained glass and wrought iron add charm. 

Photo: Joe Powers

John Cowley and Sons Irish Restaurant and Pub, Farmington

Looking like the kind of bar you might actually find in the U.K., this gastro pub was opened in 1972 and is now a third-generation business. Popular for events, the hot spot in downtown Farmington feels rich with history, and is worth a visit for the church-themed bar alone. 

Photo supplied / John Crowley and Sons

Sullivans Public House, Oxford

Full of old-world class, this family-owned pub's authentic feel has earned it accolades from Travel & Leisure, HOUR, and Delish. Jerry Cremin, who received his pint-pouring training at his family's restaurant in County Limerick, Ireland, opened Sullivans with his wife, Jamie, and the place is a local favorite, despite only opening in 2014. 

Photo: Joe Powers

Kennedy's Irish Pub, Waterford Township

The eye-catching decor at Kennedy's literally sparkles (the disco balls help) and festive neons boast Irish and Detroit history in equal measure here. Opened in 1972 by Bill and Cheryl Kennedy, this pub's walls tell its colorful stories through the layers of memorabilia that adorn it. 

Photo: Joseph Sanchez / Google

O'Flaherty's Irish Bar, Grosse Pointe Park

One of many establishments that struggled during the pandemic, O'Flaherty's has persevered to keep pouring pints. The neighborhood pub has been a staple in the Grosse Pointe Park community for decades.

Photo: O'Flaherty's / Facebook

Sean O'Callaghan's Public House, Plymouth

Another romantic pub, full of warm wood tones and Celtic knots, O'Callaghans opened in 2001. The Victorian-era vibes here give the establishment a really authentic feel and the cozy booths make for an intimate way to celebrate St. Paddy's Day in style. 

Sean O'Callaghan's Public House / Trip Advisor

The Old Shillelagh, Detroit 

Voted one of the best Irish pubs in America, this establishment oozes the kind of grit Detroit owes its Irish heritage. The pub was opened in 1975 and was almost lost to fire two years later. Three generations of ownership later, the heated rooftop patio is a popular spot this time of the year. 

Photo supplied / The Old Shillelagh
Trina O'Malley's, Allen Park

With garage doors and patio seating, this quaint sports bar is part of the Allen Park makeover helping the area grow a reputation as the "jewel" of downriver. Reviews rave about the poutine and the French dip (yes...we know that's not Irish, but it's still worth it).


Photo: Trina O'Malley's/Facebook
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.