Walking through the front doors at Finnegan’s Wake is like taking a step into Dublin, or at least America’s version of it. The lighting is dim and there’s a lot of dark wood and mahogany decor. Green tones throughout add a subtle Italian pub feeling to the place, especially during one of the live music acts. Jonny Mogambo is a regular on the apres ski scene. Dining and bar service are located downstairs, while another bar and pool tables fill the lively upstairs room.
The food at Finnegan’s Wake truly is Irish, from the Guinness beef boxty to the beef bridies. Meat predominates in most of the dishes offered, however new winter additions make the menu more diverse. New offerings include Colorado trout, mahi mahi, spinach salad and barbecue chicken. The main attractions, though, are the Irish dishes, which definitely don’t disappoint those looking for such items as fish pie, Irish breakfast, Shepherd’s pie or beef stew. Since the Irish are known for meat, potatoes and gravy, come hungry.
It’s an Irish pub, so staples like Jameson Irish Whiskey, Killian’s Irish Red, Harp, Guinness and Smithwick’s Irish Ale are a given. Wine and other spirits are also available. But you really should test drive the intricate system owner Randall Knipmeyer put in for the 10 beers on tap. It preserves and pressurizes all of them, from Guinness to ales. Beer geeks will realize they’re drinking a perfect pint; the uneducated will just know it’s good. And they don’t pour beer at Finnegan’s; they pull the pints, just as they do in Ireland. Don’t know what that means? Head in and ask.
The fish-n-chips, featuring crispy cod and thick, English-style chips, served in a basket with a flavorful tarter sauce. It’s not wrapped in newspaper, but that’s about the only thing missing from this traditional comforting dish.
The folks at Finnegan’s Wake lay claim to the biggest St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the valley. Stop by to see if it rings true.