McNally’s Irish Pub is a South Dakota staple for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. While it will look a little different this year, there are plenty of options to experience St. Paddy’s at the bar or at home. 

The 605 team stopped by the family-run business to catch up with owner Nicki Ellerbroek and to try making Irish-themed beverages while noshing on the pub’s Guinness Meatloaf. 

Left: The Jameson Jewel has Jameson whiskey, Peachtree, blue curaçao, and slices of lemon and pineapple. Right: Mcnally’s Irish Coffee has Jameson whiskey, sugar, coffee, and whipped cream.

“We have a bunch of events leading up to St. Patrick’s Day,” said Ellerbroek. 

March 5 and 6 the Irish band Slygo from Minneapolis will perform. There will also be a Jameson Irish Whiskey Tasting on March 12. 

“It will be informal where a rep will come up to your table, so we don’t have crowds gathering,” she explained. 

Then there’s the big event on March 13, kicking off with an 8 a.m. breakfast that will include menu items for kids like Lucky Charms with green milk and silver dollar pancakes and sausage. 

“There will also be a mocktail for the wee ones,” said Ellerbroek with a laugh. 

Other highlights include a traditional St. Patrick’s Day menu with items like Corned Beef and Cabbage and Bangers and Mash, family-friendly face painting, bagpipes, an appearance by the El Riad Shrine Oriental Band, and a performance by local group Bad Neighbors Band

The Hit List

Here are some of 605‘s McNally’s menu favorites.

Classic Reuben

Corned beef, sauerkraut, Thousand Island, Swiss cheese on marble rye. Side choice of chips, potato salad, mashed potatoes, veggies, side salad, or cup of soup. 

Drunken Mussels

A pound of blue shell mussels simmered in garlic and Guinness Stout, served with rustic bread. 

Irish Nachos

Kettle chips topped with shredded pepper jack and cheddar cheese, sirloin and chicken, pico de gallo and sour cream. Add fresh guacamole for an additional fee.

“It’s a group of professionals, like bankers and attorneys, and they all used to live in this neighborhood and started a band called Bad Neighbors Band since they’re loud. But really, they’re not that loud,” she chuckled. “They play ‘90s music, so they’ll play things like Nirvana. It should be great.” 

As we continued the conversation, the team had the chance to try the meatloaf with Angus beef blended with natural spices and vegetables, served with garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed vegetables, topped with Guinness mushroom gravy. 

A couple of us also got to get behind the bar with Ellerbroek and made an Irish Coffee and a Jameson Jewel. Let’s just say my whipped cream craftsmanship needs work. 

“I’m hoping it will be nice so we can heat the patio and have people outside,” she said about St. Patricks’ Day Saturday. 

For those who want more space and intimacy, Ellerbroek says she’s allowing an hourly rental of the “Snugs,” which are the private rooms in the restaurant. And for those who want a curbside option, McNally’s will have St. Patrick’s Day To-Go Boxes

“[The box] will have things like green beer, Corned Beef and Cabbage or Bangers and Mash, and a quart of Potato Leek Soup,” she said. 

And then she reminded us that there is the official St. Patrick’s Day on March 17. 

“Wednesday we’ll start the whole thing over again and have an Irish bluegrass band, Siouxgrass Revival.” 

As we wrapped up, Ellerbroek looked backed on last year’s Irish holiday, as it was historic worldwide with the spread of COVID-19. One of the changes that has been made since is making the formerly 21-plus location family friendly. Another has been pairing down the menu and offering to-go family meals. 

She left off, “People have missed some of our items when we narrowed down the menu, but we’re hoping to get more of a standard menu after St. Patrick’s Day.” 

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