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Old Shillelagh Our Favorite Spot For A Pint Of Guinness And An Irish Sing-Along

Old Shillelagh

349 Monroe St, 48226
  • Neighborhood: Downtown
  • Price Level:   
  • Open for: Lunch, Dinner, Weekends, Late Night
  • Gameday Shuttle
  • Live Music
  • Outdoor Patio
  • Cards Accepted

Tags: dinner, live music, downtown, weekend hours, gameday shuttle, rooftop deck, Greektown, late nights, Old Shillelagh, Irish bars, dancing

During the day, the exterior of Greektown’s Old Shillelagh looks pretty unassuming. A simple brick building with a green, shamrock clad awning, it might foolishly be mistaken for a sports bar. But Detroiters in-the-know understand that Old Shillelagh is a destination unlike any other.

Retired Detroit police officer John Brady, a Dublin native, opened Old Shillelagh (pronounced “shi-lay-lee”) in 1975. The bar started with just the first floor space, but as it grew in popularity the bar expanded. Old Shillelagh now operates both the first and second floor, the rooftop deck, and occasionally a giant circus tent in the parking lot adjacent to the bar. The bar is owned and run by third generation Bradys, and is one of the best Irish bars in the country.

Old Shillelagh has more than 20 beers on tap, including Irish favorites like Smithwick’s, Guinness, and Harp. You’ll find a slightly different selection on each floor, with the deck offering a more limited bar than the first two floors. The kitchen is open until 1 a.m., serving a menu of burgers, sandwiches, wings, nachos, and the like. The FAB (“frickin awesome burger”) is not-to-be-missed, topped with Colby Jack cheese, house mayo and hickory smoked bacon on a brioche bun, but the corned beef reuben runs a close second on our list of favorites.

The first floor hosts the main bar in the front, and a dance floor area with several tables in the back room. On weekends, DJ Ryan E or DJ Robby Rob spin the tables on the first and third floors.

Old Shillelagh’s house band, Black Mist, performs every Friday and Saturday night on the second floor. The trio has been cranking out traditional Irish tunes here for 19 years. Rows of communal tables add to the convivial atmosphere. If you don’t already know the words to classics like Wild Rover or I’ll Tell Me Ma, you will by the end of the night. Singing along is encouraged, and requests are welcome.

Old Shillelagh’s third floor is a rooftop party deck. On warm summer nights, it’s one of the most popular spots in town. From two blocks away you can hear the rooftop party rocking. You won’t find Leinenkugel or Strongbow on draft up here, but you will find incredible views of the city and a high energy atmosphere. Your drink might be served in a plastic cup; it’s a party, just go with it.

Game day specials and a free shuttle to Comerica Park make this bar a popular spot on days when the Tigers play at home. Old Shillelagh offers a free shuttle to all sporting events, concerts and other downtown happenings.


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