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.
Declared one of Oklahoma City's top 10 nightlife hot spots by 10 Best, Tapwerks Ale House & Cafe boasts an extensive menu of comforting classics served in a cozy dining room. Beef tenderloin ($9.99), frolics in an aromatic meadow of garlic, onion, and mushrooms before being pinned to a baguette by melted provolone, and beer battered pickle o's come lightly fried and served with a spicy ranch dipping sauce ($5.49). Brauthaus–style fare, such as the bratwurst with brown-mustard cream sauce ($11.99), is sure to tickle the tongue with a few umlauts, pleasing those diners recently returned from harvesting cuckoo clocks in the thick underbrush of the Black Forest.
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Just steps away from Chesapeake Energy Arena and the Oklahoma City Thunder, The Library maintains its status as Downtown’s oldest locally owned restaurant by serving Thunder fans and other customers hearty American fare with a side of hospitality. Head Chef Jennifer Parr concocts generous burgers, meaty sandwiches, and buffalo wings, each named after an infamous author, literary masterpiece, or Dewey decimal classification number. A slew of regulars populate the eatery's bar-side chairs and group-size banquettes nightly, and The Library also invites guests to live it up during private parties and special events with custom menus and flowing libations within its indoor courtyard. The Library is also open before and during Thunder games and is located 1.5 blocks north of the stadium on the southwest corner or Robinson and Park Avenues.
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:
51st Street Speakeasy dishes up a savory spread of creative American staples in a vintage-style bar with an intimate stage hosting live entertainment. The fresh menu brings together tacos, salads, and burgers in a culinary harmony unseen since the California Raisins dominated the airwaves. Guests can rev stomach engines with a starter such as chicken or beef nachos, stacked to stratospheric heights with tomatoes, jalapeños, and cheese and served with luscious guacamole, sour cream, and salsa ($8). A traditional caesar salad with freshly made dressing ($7) makes for a well-rounded meal when paired with a cheeseburger, amassing a half-pound patty seasoned and cooked to order ($8).