McCarthy's sets a new standard in Prague

A new Irish pub already looks as if it has been open for decades

There is a new Irish pub in town, though at first glance people might not realize. McCarthy's Irish Pub & Disco Bar opened up a few weeks ago at Rytírská 406/10, in the center but just a bit off the main track of tourists.

“It is the most authentic of the Irish pubs. Everything is built by lads from Northern Ireland. All the furniture, all the wood, all the old bottles, the bric-a-brac — everything was brought over,” McCarthy's manager Conor Brady said.

Brady got his start in Prague at Caffreys Irish Pub near Old Town Square three years ago and rose up quickly. McCarthy's is a sister pub to Caffreys.

The walls and floors were made to look as if they had been in use for decades to make a cozy feeling of home. “The idea is even though we are only open a couple of weeks, people would walk in and by the décor of the place think that we were here 20 years. We've kind of nailed that. From the feedback we are getting, people seem to think it has been here a lot longer than a few weeks. So that's good,” general manager Declan O'Brien said. “We have completely raised the standard,” he added.

He has been in Prague since the early 1990s and has been a manager at several Irish pubs, some of which no longer exist.

There are some details other pubs don't have, such as beer tanks suspended from the ceiling. The design also creates several discrete spaces, so groups can have a feeling of privacy while still being in a crowded pub.

What also makes the place different is that it is two bars in one. In the evening, a downstairs Disco Bar called “The POD” at McCarthy's opens that will have live music and DJs on Fridays and Saturdays. “POD” means “under” in Czech, as well as a self-contained space in English.

The bar will be open till 6 am on Fridays and Saturdays, and to 4 am on other nights.

Upstairs, there are five large monitors for sports, which can be tuned to different events. Due to the late hours, the pub can show sports from the US as well.

“It is almost two different venues. Up here, it is about the food,” O'Brien said. Together, the upstairs and downstairs measures about 550 square meters making it the largest Irish pub in Prague.

There are 12 beers on tap, including Czech beers, Heineken and Hoegaarden plus Irish beers like Guinness and Kilkenny, plus ciders.

There are happy hours 7 Days a week in both the upstairs pub and lower-level Disco Bar.

The menu also has something for everyone. There are Irish favorites such as a full Irish breakfast, bangers and mash, beef in Guinness, and fish and chips. Many of the ingredients such as black pudding, Bacon and sausages are imported.

There are also three “Paddie's pizzas” with Irish ingredients. One has a full Irish breakfast on it. “It is quite good actually, O'Brien said ” It is something unique to us,” adding that the quirky items helped to make the place stand out.

“The house special would be McCarthy's black pudding stack, which is black pudding, crispy smoked bacon, and mushrooms with a whiskey sauce.

But the aim is to have something for everyone, so there are some standard pizzas, nachos, Philly cheese steak, mussels, lamb chops, burgers and some veggie options.

While a lot of the customers are tourists, McCarthy's also caters to local expats and will be offering VIP cards for discounts to faithful clients.

With live music 7 nights a week and all major sporting events shown live, McCarthys is a great addition to Prague's Irish pub scene.

Large groups are welcome, but as long as they don't bother the other patrons. “The vast majority of groups are OK. If they cross the line they are asked to leave,” O'Brien said, adding that they have had several groups already who were “just beautiful.”

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