The Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow is in Orcutt, and it is a Treasure to be Sure.
Rooney’s Irish Pub and Restaurant
241 South Broadway Street
Old Town Orcutt, CA
Rooney’s Irish pub in Old Town Orcutt, California is a true vision of what an Irish Pub should be. The restaurant has been open for only 4 months and the building is a new construction, but inside is a warmth and comfort that is timeless. The décor is exactly what you would find in the traditional Irish Pub, colors and murals depicting the emerald Isles, pastoral sceneries, quality woodwork and an attentive, friendly staff. The customer is greeted with a smile and a genuine rustic flare. The pub, well known in town already, is also experiencing a notoriety that brings people from several miles away in both the north and south counties.
For thirty years it’s been Tim Rooney’s dream to open an Irish Pub — ever since he and his college roommate had one in their dorm room ( a very interesting story, ask him and he’ll tell you). Today that dream has been realized in a very grand way. Mr. Rooney, a longtime resident of the Central Coast with a family heritage here decided that now was the time to create a family friendly establishment that would serve as a central social spot that would be the focus of the community. I would also like to tell you that Rooney’s does provide a service that I have never seen before, for the client that have enjoyed the spirits “a wee bit much”, Rooney’s provides free taxi transportation home, no matter how far “I want them to get home safe” said the proprietor Tim Rooney, “once they come through the door, they’re family, and that’s worth everything”
The restaurant has an open atmosphere that can serve the social set, family dining and large groups. They do large parties and catering for events. Architecturally brilliant, there is ample room for dining in a cozy style as well as feeling you have privacy. The bar area stretches the length of one wall and wraps around into the front dining room, there are several varieties on tap, as well as imports and a large selection in the bar. The menu has traditional Irish selections as well as “Fusion” and American-styled dishes. The desire of the day is customer satisfaction, their philosophy is a slogan that is on the menu and in their hearts “A cabin with plenty of food is better than a hungry castle”.
The concept for the menu was to create great combinations at affordable prices, but not sacrifice quality for cost efficiency. At Rooney’s, you get an excellent fine dining experience without having to break your budget. In a few months, Rooney’s Irish pub will have the first batch of their own beer, created in the Beer Brewery located on the premises. The Pub will be working towards brewing several varieties and will be looking to bottle and sell their fine beers throughout California.
I had the privilege to try several items on the menu, and they were all wonderful. What stands out most is their take on the traditional “Shepard’s Pie”, staple of any Irish Pub of merit. I spoke with the chef, Anthony Endy, a master chef whom has many years of creative experience, describe it as “deconstructed” – “I enhanced all the elements and provide the customer an opportunity to enjoy the dish both visually and in extraordinary taste”.
The Shepard’s pie was “inside out”, not a deep dish with ground meat and vegetables hidden under potato, but an open plate. The dish was cooked to perfection, lovingly assembled with finely “ribbon” shaved carrots, peas and roasted onion surrounding a tremendous piece of Angus Short Rib. Brazed to perfection, the meat was cooked to a point where there was no need for cutting; it simply melted away under the knife. The potatoes were mashed and seasoned to perfection, serving as a base to the meat. This interpretation of a “classic” Irish staple meal is both “home-style” and refined, giving the patron the best of both.
I would strongly encourage you to stop in at Rooney’s Irish Pub, whether for a meal with family or a pint with a pal, it would do your heart and soul good. At Rooney’s Irish Pub, there is a phrase “There are no strangers at Rooney’s, only friends you have never met”, well go make some new friends at Rooney’s; you’ll be smiling, with newfound “Irish Eyes”.