Mid-City is a great neighborhood for bars. In a little over a square mile, you’re looking at Twelve Mile Limit, Mid-City Yatch Club, Finn McCool’s, Mick’s, and the Bulldog, just to name some of the more popular bars. Of course, it wasn’t until I flipped through Kari Dequine’s piece for the Times-Pic that I realized there were so many Irish Pubs. Five Irish pubs, all in close walking distance (mostly). To tackle all these places in a single day sounded like a fine plan, but was it actually doable? To find out, we headed out with the mysterious Mid-City Sippers, a close-knit drinking club that doesn’t actually restrict its drinking to Mid-City.
The Sippers kicked their day off at Mid-City’s best known Irish Pub, Finn McCool’s. If you’re looking to catch (or possibly play) some soccer or enjoy a pint of Guinness, Finn’s is sure to be on the top of your list. Mondays also find Finn’s packed to the gills with trivia nerds for the weekly Pub Quiz night. Finally, Finn’s has recently rounded its offerings out with the addition of BooKoo BBQ in the back kitchen. BooKoo runs out the wide range of decent pub food, but this post is about drinking, so we’ll have to cover it later. Just one word of advice, BooKoo is cash only.
For a random Saturday day, Finn’s was pretty packed thanks to a Liverpool game. Even though Liverpool was up 3-nil at the 84 minute mark, red jersey clad patrons were glued to the flat screen TVs as if the Saints were driving, down 6 with less than 2 minutes to go. In addition to the Sippers, the crowd was diverse: A cougar on the prowl in her workout gear eyed potential targets from her perch at the bar, a group of people all looking fresh out college pushed together a number of tables effectively taking over a huge section of the back of the bar, all while a handful of regulars were practicing for the Tuesday night dart league.
Finn’s itself is a dark bar, which sort of neutralizes the joy of day drinking. Not only is there limited natural light in Finn’s, but the decor is dark and the lights are generally kept low (or at least it seems that way). But this darkness nicely compliments the Guinness, which flows at all hours of the day. Best of all, Finn’s does Guinness right. A time-consuming double pour ensures that your Guinness is as close to perfect as you can get. Just don’t expect to get it any time soon, as the process takes a while. Under official Guinness rules, the perfect pint should take just under two minutes to pour, Finn’s takes just a bit longer than that. Not to say that Finn’s is only Guinness, a full complement of Irish beers are available as are your typical beers and a full bar. Being a legitimate Irish bar, Finn’s definitely hasn’t gotten on board the non-smoking scene that is gaining steam in other corners of the city.
For the start of our pub crawl, Guinness was the order of the day. As pint after pint of creamy deliciousness was passed down the bar, I realized we were in deep and the day was just beginning. To learn a little bit more about the power of Finn’s and reflect on how far we’ve come over the past 6 years, check out the video below: