On the outskirts of Reno is a town called Sparks. It is a town born from the railroad. The land was once just swampland and ranches. In order to straighten and cut a few miles off the track, Southern Pacific decided to bypass Wadsworth, which was the base of the roundhouse and maintenance shop for Central Pacific. Wadsworth employees were offered a deed for land lots (50’ x 140’) for $1 and pack every house in Wadsworth and ship it to the new town, free of charge. Sixty-seven lots were sold in 1903 and Sparks, NV was born.
The Outlets at Sparks is a huge complex of stores, restaurants, and movie theaters. One level up near the Galaxy Theatres is O’Cleary’s Irish Pub. O’Cleary’s, opened January 2014 and combines Irish fare and drink with bowling, billiards, and sports viewing whether you are taking a break from shopping, grabbing a bite before a movie, or intend to just stay & play. The interior is a blend of “Cheers” meets “Dave and Buster’s” with a homey feel yet with an exciting atmosphere from the sounds of bowling balls striking pins, cheering, and sports on TV screens.
If you’re here for the food, here are some must-try’s on the menu:
Onion Rings ($7) are Guinness battered and served with chipotle or BBQ sauce. Ask for them extra crispy. The exterior is crispy and the Guinness flavor is almost caramelized. It pairs well with the tender sweet onion inside. Chipotle and BBQ sauces work great for dipping. BBQ sauce might pair better if drinking beer with it. Rating: 5/5
‘Shrooms ($8) are mushrooms stuffed with a cream cheese-vegetable mixture, Guinness battered, and served with chipotle aioli. It is similar to a jalapeño popper. The mushroom adds a nice earthy flavor. The Guinness batter adds a crispy, crunchy texture. The chipotle lends a smoky, spicy kick to the mix, but not as spicy as a jalapeno popper. Rating: 5/5
Irish Stew ($11) consists of braised lamb, fresh herbs, potatoes, onions, carrots, and is topped with puff pastry. The lamb is braised to perfection with subtle gamey flavor. The vegetables are stewed just right, not mushy and not too hard. The puff pastry adds a luxurious buttery flavor and flaky texture to the dish. It just needs a smidgen of salt to push for the stew flavor forward. Rating: 4.5/5
Fish & Chips ($13) are Guinness battered fish fillets served with fries, cole slaw, and tartar sauce. The crispy batter holds in the succulent fish inside. The batter also complements the fish with a caramelized malty flavor. The fries are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The cole slaw needs a bit more sauce and some sort of flavor bump as it was rather bland. Rating: 4/5
With tummies full, it was time to head back to Whitney Peak Hotel to hit the hay. A beautiful breakfast awaits in the morning!
- Happy Hour: Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Half off all drafts and well drinks, $5 onion rings or quesadilla, $6 spinach & artichoke dip or reuben sliders, $7 ten smoked wings, pepperoni pizza, or O’Cleary’s burger.
- Yelp Check In: 1 FREE flight of Irish Beers – 4 oz. beer samples include Guinness, Harp, Boddington’s and Strongbow.
Atmosphere: 5 out of 5 stars
Décor: 4 out of 5 stars
Service: 5 out of 5 stars
Food: 5 out of 5 stars
For more information:
O’Cleary’s Irish Pub
1330 Scheels Dr Ste 250
Sparks, NV 89434, United States
Hours: Sunday through Thursday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Parking: Private lot parking (park near the Galaxy Theatres)