SCHENECTADY – Katie O’Byrnes Irish Pub brings a crowd of regulars to a busy corner of Schenectady.
Katie O’Byrnes first opened 17 years ago as a small pub at 121 Wall St., right near the corner of State Street and Erie Boulevard.
Over the years, it has grown into more of a restaurant than just a bar, said manager Kelly Cowell, who has worked there since it opened.
Katie O’Byrnes has a large regular following; many customers come every week to get their weekly prime rib or pot roast dinner.
The banquet room and a growing number of patio tables allow the restaurant to hold over 100 people. The staff of about 30 includes a number of people who have been working there since the beginning.
The Daily Gazette recently spoke with Cowell about the business:
Q: What are some of the most popular dishes that you serve?
A: Our fish and chips is pretty popular, and it’s not a handmade one, but it’s a delicious fish and chips with coleslaw. That and the Reuben. Our Reuben sandwich is a little different. It’s made with braised cabbage, not sauerkraut, which gives it a different flavor. The corned beef is made here in-house every day, not just St. Patrick’s Day. The Shepard’s pie is a big seller too.
Q: As far as reservations go, are they required? Recommended?
A: During Proctors shows we recommend them. We get a lot of people here, like this afternoon, around 11:30 a.m. there was a matinee today, the whole restaurant, plus every table outside was full for lunch. People walk in and go, ‘Is it like this every Thursday?’ No, just when there’s a show. We are so close, you can just walk down from Proctors. It’s definitely a place for a quick meal, you can get in, get out and go to the show.
Q:What are some of your favorite things about running this place?
A: The people, meeting different people everyday. Every day is different, and there’s always something new to learn and something new to find out every single day. It keeps you on your toes, that’s for sure.
Q: What could an average family of four expect to spend on a meal?
A: It depends on if they are getting drinks. I would say between $60 and $80. We get a lot of people from Union College, and all the sports teams. We sponsor a lot of teams. Where we’re located we get a lot of people from out of town too. It’s a very good place, when you’re driving by you can just see us.
Q:How would you describe Katie O’Brynes’ atmosphere?
A: It’s bright and cherry, homey. The mother of one of the owners oversees all the decorating in here. We decorate for almost every season. We like to have fun. Friday and Saturday we have live music, local, acoustic, not big bands anymore. It’s a fun place to come, you can have dinner with your family or with your friends.
Q; Why should someone who hasn’t been here before consider coming?
A: The food is good and the prices are reasonable, and the atmosphere is just welcoming, I think. The servers are all friendly and outgoing.
Q: Is there anything else you think people should know?
A: We show all the football games and basketball games, whatever is going on for sports it’s on the TVs here.