THE PUB CRAWL: O’Sullivan’s Italian Irish Pub
This isn’t your typical restaurant or bar review.
Let’s just get that out of the way right now.
We don’t know how to describe what we are eating, nor do we know much about the complexities involved with identifying ingredients in beer or liquor.
All we know is that we drink a lot of beer and have frequented a ton of establishments that serve it.
So it makes sense that we write about them, right?
Welcome to Pub Crawl.
Kicking off our monthly feature is O’Sullivan’s Italian Irish Pub at 1808 West Main St. in Fort Wayne. We don’t really know of another “Italian Irish” bar out there, but “O’s” pulls it off with its unique decor and zesty food.
If you’re a frequent partaker of alcohol in this city, chances are you have found yourself hitting up O’s at 2 a.m., because we have. It’s all about atmosphere, camaraderie and a touch of a “What happens at O’s stays at O’s” mentality.
According to research done by David Lupke on the history of Fort Wayne bars and taverns, O’Sullivans has always had a hint of debauchery. Back during Prohibition, O’s tried to pass itself off as a confectionary, operating under the name of The Palace of Sweets. Not surprisingly, it was raided in 1922 for serving alcohol.
But enough about history. What can you expect when you hit up O’s in 2018?
WHAT TO DRINK
O’Sullivan’s cares truly about diversification of your beer choices. It’s probably not the place to go to sip a cosmopolitan, and we are not sure O’s even knows what a martini glass looks like. But let’s be clear, this is a pub for folks who prefer beer first, beer last and mostly beer in the middle.
In March of last year, O’Sullivan’s doubled its tap line and now serve 12 fresh brews on tap, which is, let’s be honest, the way to go. The taps are a mix of venerable favorites like Guiness, Angy Orchard, Miller Lite, Labatt Blue mixed in with some a revolving lineup of other brews. On our first visit, we tried out some LazerSnake, a quality pale ale with the smoothness to appeal to microbrew fans. O’s seems to be the fan of the Indiana-based 3 Floyds Brewing Company, which makes LazerSnake and Yum Yum, which we enjoyed on our second visit.
If draft isn’t your thing (what’s your problem?) don’t move off that barstool. With a cooler boasting 50-plus options in bottles and cans, we don’t equivocate over the fact that O’s truly does have a brew for everything.
WHAT TO EAT
We aren’t taking our grandmas there for dinner, but O’Sullivan’s can truly fill you up with its menu options. Need lunch in our growing downtown but don’t want to wait for a seat? O’Sullivan’s has you covered with a solid menu and the fact that there are only about six customers there around lunch. There are five different sandwiches served daily for lunch, far beyond your normal bar munchies.
And then there is the pizza. Remember how we said we don’t know how to describe what we are eating with complexity? Here, right here, is what we mean. It is delicious, savory, yummy — we don’t care what you call it, just eat it. Other than late night debauchery and the obvious (beer), there is perhaps no bigger O’s staple than a slice of pepperoni.
WHERE TO SIT
It can be cutthroat for seating at O’s during peak hours. The single booth on the bar side fits four easily, more if you have had enough drinks to not care much about comfort. If you’re eyeing the booth, be sure to monitor it all times. When it opens up, pounce quickly.
Arguably the best seat in the house is at the table right at the front window. You can people watch as patrons leave and enter while also being close enough to the jukebox to dictate the music selection.
WHEN TO GO
O’Sullivans is open until 3 a.m. every night of the week, so if you get a hankering for a drink at 1:30 a.m. on a Wednesday, you’re in luck.
Tuesday night is popular, with Thursday, Friday and Saturday pretty deep with live bands in the house.
Looking for a quick bite and beer for lunch during the week? O’s has you covered, but don’t expect the conversation around you to be toned down just because you’re wearing a dress shirt and slacks.
WHO TO BRING
Didn’t we say not to bring grandma for dinner? Yeah, that holds up.
Also don’t bring your first date. He or she may not be seeking a second date if O’s isn’t their style. They may even change their number.
Does that make O’s sound bad? Probably, but it is not their fault, O’s doesn’t hide their faults or celebrations.
O’s is a place to bring your bros, hang out with friends and drink. In your 20s, O’s is a place to party, be young and stay out until ungodly hours of the night. Later on in life, it can be a pretty solid daytime or evening watering hole. Either way, know your company if they have never been to O’s before. Know what they like and what offends them.
In other words, if there is an ounce of sensitivity within you, steer clear of West Main Street.
BE PREPARED FOR
Unfiltered conversation. Seriously, if you’re easily offended, steer clear.
Oh, and bras. Lots of bras. They hang from the ceiling like chandeliers. Maybe you’ll get crazy enough to add to the collection?
Sticking with that theme, as you wander towards the restrooms, be ready for the wall of pictures of patrons um, enjoying the bar without a top on.
Want to see what Justin and Dan are drinking? Check them out on Untappd, the drinking social network and app for beer enthusiasts everywhere.