Chewing and chatting slow to a halt, and every set of eyes looks to the flat-screen TVs around the pub. A silent tension floats over the room as both the shot and game clock ticks toward the final seconds. As the ball swishes through the hoop in tandem with the timer’s final knell, the room explodes in a symphony of hoots and cheers that continues into the early hours of the morning. This scene plays out almost nightly during O'Connell's Irish Pub & Grille's regular game-watching parties.Since throwing open their doors in 1968, O'Connell's staffers have worked hard to foster a welcoming, friendly environment where the community can get together, unwind, and debate the newest methods of chewing. Though the pub relocated from across OU's campus to its new location, the pub continues to build camaraderie on its foundations of relaxed revelry and hearty fare. Chefs bustle to create pub fare ranging from traditional fish 'n' chips to burgers crowned with toppings such as pineapples, fresh blue-cheese spread, and newly sizzled bacon bits. A lineup of lively events keeps patrons in the partying way throughout the year, especially during the annual St. Pat’s Party replete with live DJs, green eggs, and karaoke.
Pubs west of the Atlantic often pay homage to the UK, but Dan McGuinness Pub goes one step farther: it was actually made in Ireland. Shipped to Memphis, Tennessee in pieces, the first Dan McGuinness was entirely assembled by a team of five Irishmen, who still manually hold it together today. The franchise's other locations weren't built this way, but they all carry on the original pub's tradition of friendly service and classic Irish dishes such as corned beef and cabbage, bangers and mash, and shepherd's pie. American and English influences also permeate the menu in dishes such as blackened chicken fingers and fish ‘n’ chips made with Atlantic cod dipped in Harp lager batter.
The pub's beer list similarly mixes up European and American offerings with brews from Guinness, Smithwick's, and Sam Adams. Feasts at Dan McGuinness unfold amid a convivial atmosphere, with entertainment such as billiards and live music every Friday and Saturday night.
TapWerks boasts Oklahoma's largest beer selection, with 212 beers on tap and over 100 bottled selections, with everything from international classics to obscure domestic favorites. Oklahoma-based microbrews such as Basement Batch flow harmoniously from draft pipes alongside their long-traveled companions such as the light, refreshing Hoegaarden White ($5 for 12 oz.), the rich and malty Spaten Optimator ($5.50 for a pint), and the ruby-hued Smithwick's Ale ($5.50 for a pint). Irish, Mexican, Dutch, Japanese, French, Czech, Austrian, and Australian selections round out TapWerks' bountiful UN of beers, which is stationed on the top level of the two-floor alehouse, surrounded by pool tables, dart boards, a jukebox, and a library for those who like to consolidate their drinking with their pursuit of the intellectual arts.
You're probably thinking, "That sounds great, but I've never bought a car or a computer without first reading the Wikipedia definitions for car and computer—I'm not about to buy a Groupon either without a briefing." Well neither would we, and since this is everyone's first Groupon, allow us to briefly explain how it works.
More than 30 years in the business of providing lip-smacking hospitality has taught the proprietors of The Library how to keep its customers coming back. A slew of regulars populates the eatery's bar-side chairs and group-size banquettes nightly, often chomping through head chef Justin McNutt's generous burgers, meaty sandwiches, and buffalo wings—each named after an infamous author or literary masterpiece. Besides hosting special events within its dining chamber, The Library also invites guests to live it up during private parties with custom menus and flowing libations within its indoor courtyard.
Prolific course architect Rocky Roquemore preserved the natural beauty of the land by sculpting tree-hemmed fairways that incorporate 14 ponds. Deer and wild turkey occasionally dart across the zoysia fairways, casually stopping to lay down their beach towels in one of the course's 100-plus sand traps. After conquering the water-guarded green of the 11th hole and carrying the ball past the water-flanked fairway of the 18th, golfers can relax by slicing into steak and seafood at the clubhouse restaurant. The lounge on the recently renovated clubhouse porch offers views of the course and adventurous players strapping on snorkeling masks to retrieve balls in the course’s waterways.
Course at a Glance: