O'Leary's pub in Brookline is not the place to go for wild nights of partying, deafening music, or interesting people-watching. In other words, this quiet Irish watering hole just east of Coolidge Corner is a lot different from some of the more popular Irish pubs in the Boston area. And as fun as the Black Rose or The Burren can be on almost any given night, sometimes you just want to have a good conversation and a peaceful dinner along with your pint or two of Guinness. And that is exactly what makes O'Leary's a good place to go for many nearby folks who live in the neighborhood.
At first glance, O'Leary's is a dark, almost gloomy place, with very low lighting and lots of dark wood inside. The atmosphere makes O'Leary's feel a bit like some of the quiet old hotel bars that are found in Dublin and other larger cities in Ireland, and it works well for the place, as its clientele is mostly couples, older folks, and the occasional solitary diner or drinker. The narrow room has a long bar on the left, and several tables on the right, with a narrow walkway between the two. The bar area caters to a mix of drinkers and diners, as you can opt for dinner up at the bar if you wish. And the dinners are very good, with such dishes as a wonderfully hearty Guinness stew, a tasty broiled haddock, and a delicious chicken marsala heading up a menu filled with a variety of items. Beers at O'Leary's include Guinness, of course, as well as Harp (a personal favorite) and the outstanding Boddington's and Smithwick's ales, both of which are favorites over in Ireland.
Looking for a crazy night to remember at an Irish pub? Interested in loud Irish rock music and pint after pint of beer with your buddies? Well, O'Leary's is NOT your place. But if you like a little peace and quiet with your Guinness, O'Leary's may be the place for you.
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