Suburban Pub Tries to be all things to all people
Address: 8294 Centre Street NE Calgary (403) 275-6601
A pub located outside of the normal inner city circle, Paddy O’Leary’s is a growing trend in the last few years for some pubs to locate out in suburbia, where it is handy to visit from home rather than from work, which most of the first – generation pubs in Calgary seem to have focused on. Having visited this pub on several occasions, this review is somewhat of a general view from those visits.
As to its worthiness as a pub, it does a half decent job of living up to the pub experience, while falling down on a few points. As the name suggests, they are trying for a bit of a mix, draw in the sports crowd, the diners and yes, the bar flies.The decor is reasonably pub like – wood trim with an outdoor area than looks out on a parking lot – pretty typical patio view in Calgary; at least not facing a busy street. There is seating on a raised area and a lower area by the windows to break things up a little.
The black tile in the bathroom to hide the obvious need for some repairs and renovations: How about spending more than the cost of a bucket of paint and actually fix it up a little? While the washrooms are not atrocious, they do need some work. This is not a place to hang out on a sports event night – think of this as a sports bar at those times to go and watch the game at – the volume is too loud at those times to just sit and talk with friends. VLTs are for bars, not pubs, but I guess the owners have to work every angle to make a profit, but I don’t have to like looking at people throwing away their money on these things.
The food is quite good here, although in the past there have been some issues with undercooking. Having visited several times in the past, I have not been disappointed by most things I tried on the menu – the pizza is particularly note worthy – thin crust style with a nice balance of cheese and generous toppings. The food menu pricing is quite low with good sized portions – a good value for sure.
The Beer selection is average – about what you will see in most bars that aim for a more pubbish environment – Kilkenny, Guinness and small selection of imports and micro-brew outside of the normal American lager style (which I never mention because every place has these).
Service is generally good here. Like most places in Calgary, Paddy O’Leary’s suffers from rapid staff turnover, so service has varied from fair to excellent at times. The staff seem to genuinely try hard to please the customer and improve on feedback.
Overall: 7/10 – This is a pretty decent effort in suburbia to create a place to hang out. It is not the perfect pub, but it is trying to be general to all crowds – be they pub, sports or bar people.