By Rob Scherf
As the maxim goes, if you’ve seen one Irish pub, you’ve seen ’em all. There’s always something familiar about walking into an “O’Gready’s” or “Goodtime McDonnel’s”, probably having to do with the standard-issue deep, dark wood furniture and Guinness on tap. It seems that these sickeningly congruent places are everywhere one turns these days, with more popping up all the time. There is so much competition and so little variation between these pubs that it seems impossible for all of them to survive but remarkably, like flies, they just keep on reproducing.
While unoriginal, there’s at least one big plus to the Irish pub endemic: you always know what you’ll get. And so it is with the Kilkenny, the doublewide fixture of Brentwood Plaza nightlife. In the foyer, guests are greeted with an extremely Irish tableaux: a classic low-clearance bar, cute short-skirted waitresses and even a clock cutely set to always read five minutes before last call. The “authentic” Irish feel permeates every aspect of the Kilkenny, from the menu to occasional Celtic jams that bust out on the speaker system. Of course the experience is always pleasant enough–it’s been perfectly calibrated over many decades and many other pubs–but there are much better and more unique places in town to get sloshed.
Aimed primarily at the undiscerning happy hour crowd, the Kilkenny is a good place to gather and eat pub food, and while it’s always decently full, the establishment isn’t notable for much except its tendency to be the go-to place for indecisive groups of drinkers.