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James E. McNellie's Public House

Not Rated.
James E. McNellie's Public HouseJames E. McNellie's Public House
BA SCORE
95
world-class

56 Ratings
Ratings: 56
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 11.34%
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

409 E 1st St
Tulsa, Oklahoma, 74120-1826
United States
phone: (918) 382-7468

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @mcnelliestulsa

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: keithatoz on 04-03-2005)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 56 | Reviews: 39 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%

Regular trips to Tulsa over the past few years have been frequent, so it is a constant surprise that I never ever got to James E. McNellie’s Public House until quite recently. I had great feedback from my work colleagues who knew all about this place and my love for good beer; so I think it was their continuing incredulity at my absence from here which eventually which shamed me to reconnoiter the place back in February, with a couple of more visits since then.

Despite the smattering of one-way streets in Tulsa, it is a relatively easy town to navigate. McNellie’s is at 1st and Elgin, which seemed like a quiet-ish neighborhood to me with plenty of street parking on the several occasions I popped by. Gold lettered signage is well lit against the all brick frontage. Large paned, dark wood framed windows which sit each side of a centrally located doorway allow first time visitors to see what they are letting themselves in for before walking in. My first visit was on a very cold night in February, but despite being on my own and from out of town, I realized once I headed in though that it was a Wednesday and $3 Burger Night, that probably contributed to the packed lively feel but I am sure that was not the only reason. I felt immediately at home with the relaxed interior, it certainly takes influence from across the Pond and translates lots of wood, mirrors and a relaxing laid-back feel extremely well. I was quickly attended to by one of the wait staff that was near the entrance and managed to snaffle a seat at the bar, packed with a long line of punters, many still wearing their coats which seemed strange to me at the time, but every time the front door opened a cold blast of February wind explained why. Nevertheless, I felt very comfortable on that first visit way back in February, which certainly bode well for a return and it is true to say that the welcome was a genuine warm one during all of my subsequent stops including my latest in May.

A long wooden bar runs down the right hand side wall as you stroll in, seating runs off to the left and back towards the far end. The tables are tightly packed so when this place gets full, it is really only possible to navigate the interior by walking down the right hand side where the bar is. But this too can get packed because a 4 foot tall wooden splitter wall runs parallel to the bar and whilst it helps to demark the seating on the left from the bar on the right, it has stools and also gets well frequented. Lots of bare brick, some old photos, colorful paintings, breweriana, Mirrors, steel and a healthy dollop of wooden tables and chairs help to add a rustic “well-worn” nature to McNellie’s, the words ‘Public House’ in the name are warranted. Lots of personalized Mugs seem to decorate the bar area, there must be some kind of Mug Club in operation here it seems.

Beer range is very good, difficult to have any complaints or even nit-picks about that, it is well stocked too and it never suffered from the “we have a huge list but we don’t have that beer right now” syndrome which affects many beer bars. There is something here for everyone, and despite the fact that this is probably the best beer range in Tulsa, and perhaps further afield, the prices are very reasonable. Behind the bar a long line of some 50+ taps dispensing beers from Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, England, France Germany, Ireland, Scotland, oh and erm… the United States too. The Bottled Beer List numbers around 170 by my quick math, and stretched from Australia to Zimbabwe with a healthy contribution from the UK, Belgium and Germany.

Service was very good; my first February visit was about 8pm and just for food and a couple of beers, even though I had decided to visit McNellie’s during a very busy $3 Burger night - I was served quickly and the beer and food were both delivered with timely precision. Food was staple Pub fare, good portions, well made and reasonably priced. Later visits happened on quieter nights, and my last in May was with a colleague who was driving, so I had free reign to sample a few of the bottled Belgian beers. On that last visit the guy behind the bar was extremely helpful and must have been the resident beer guy, as is usual once contact had been made, the topic for the rest of the night was beer and beer travels.

The beer range and service here can conspire to produce an unforgettable night at the time, but which is soon forgotten the next morning!! I missed the Live Music but apparently they do hold Music nights here.

Glad I finally got to McNellie’s; it is certainly my plan to hit this place at least once during each of my upcoming trips to Tulsa.

Excellent Draft and Bottled beer range which is always well stocked and can be plied from the staff at very reasonable prices all set inside a very nice Pub(lic House) environ.

Recommended.

First / Last Visits: Wednesday 14th February / Tuesday 22nd May.

TheLongBeachBum, Jun 17, 2007
Photo of kylehay2004
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

kylehay2004, Oct 19, 2014
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4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

22Blue, Oct 13, 2014
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3/5  rDev -30.6%

Spike-likes-beer, Oct 13, 2014
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5/5  rDev +15.7%

GraySchneider, Oct 05, 2014
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5/5  rDev +15.7%

MammothTarantula, Oct 01, 2014
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2.25/5  rDev -47.9%

Basoos1, Sep 15, 2014
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4.36/5  rDev +0.9%

Edockery, Aug 15, 2014
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4.75/5  rDev +10%

beergeekokla, Jul 21, 2014
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5/5  rDev +15.7%

Velogas, Jul 12, 2014
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5/5  rDev +15.7%

Irasema, Jul 11, 2014
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4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

jtladner, Jun 28, 2014
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5/5  rDev +15.7%

BradleyR, May 08, 2014
Photo of Charlie_Richardson
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Charlie_Richardson, Apr 23, 2014
Photo of zerocrane
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Amazing environment, the food is out of this world, the service is great 99% of the time. There is a smoking and non-smoking section, which you just don't see anymore. Not to mention, they have the largest beer selection in town. 60 handles and about 250 bottles. Fun activities held year round, check out the centennial club, and buy a mug, because you'll be back!

zerocrane, Mar 24, 2014
Photo of Trex
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Trex, Mar 03, 2014
Photo of BillRoth
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

BillRoth, Dec 12, 2013
Photo of remccaskey
4.13/5  rDev -4.4%

If you are looking for a place that has probably the best beer list in Tulsa, then this is the place. They have over 40 beers on tap and probable over a hundred different beers in bottle. Every Monday they have a pint glass give away, I got a couple of Moose Drool pint glasses last month. The staff is always friendly and if you are in the downtown area then this is the play to go to enjoy great beer and pub food.

remccaskey, Oct 23, 2013
Photo of sneezye
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

sneezye, Oct 21, 2013
Photo of RobbieAshmore
3.9/5  rDev -9.7%

I really didn't pay much attention to the prices, but I think it was rather expensive. But let's face it you don't go here to save money, you go for the world class beer selection. I was very pleased with the beer and the service. The waitress was friendly and knowledgeable. I have been to this pub several times during business trips to Tulsa. But only once on a weekend. On Saturday nights it becomes sort of a very noisy 'yuppie' bar....but the beer is still great!

RobbieAshmore, Oct 06, 2013
Photo of Carl_R
4/5  rDev -7.4%

This is actually a really nice place to try if you are looking for selection. Most beers I like are not available in this state, but McNellie's does a really good job carrying the beers that are available in this state. I cannot really think of another bar in Tulsa that I would want to go other than McNellie's.

Carl_R, Jul 20, 2013
Photo of jmharney
3.89/5  rDev -10%

Probably the best place in Tulsa to try new beers on tap or in bottle. Been going here for about 6 years and keep going back. It's my default Tulsa bar. Beer menu is endless, you could order something new everyday of the year and not be done with it. The staff is knowledgeable although if you go on a Friday or Saturday night, do not expect the greatest attention given to you. Mid evening is the best time, not as crowded and bar staff have better time to serve you.

jmharney, Jun 26, 2013
Photo of LittleDon
4.16/5  rDev -3.7%

Pros: Great selection of OK beers, inexpensive, lots of taps to choose from, smoking allowed upstairs.
Cons: Popular, particularly with the under 30 PBR and tequila shot crowd, you might not be told that they'll be smoking upstairs.

McNellie's Public House, like Tulsa, surprised me. When I found out that I needed to meet with a potential customer, I expected to time warped to a 1950's dry municipality where I was going to hell for even thinking about getting a drink. I was wrong. Tulsa is a city where there's great art and music and you can get a decent beer.

McNellie's location belies its popularity. I stopped in on a Wednesday at about 6 and there was a 45 minute wait for a table (I overheard that there was some event downtown). Of the three bars, all of which have the same tap list, I was told that the bar upstairs would be the least crowded. I went upstairs, found one of the few seats available, sat down, and discovered that OK is one of the remaining states that allows indoor smoking. Not wanting to brave the growing crowds downstairs, I decided to stay.

Service was quick. Even had a chance to ask the bartender about his recommendations from one of the dozen or so OK brews. Despite the crowds, my glass never went dry. Food was well prepared and tasty. Aside from the number of people, my only other beef was the vibe. As a craft beer enthusiast, I felt out of place in an atmosphere where many of the customers where ordering XXX Lite and tequila shots. I asked if there was a college close by and was surprised to find out that there wasn't. Nothing wrong with this, just that I prefer it a bit more laid back.

Despite the crowds and vibe, worth a second look.

LittleDon, Mar 08, 2013
Photo of dmcgilvray
4.41/5  rDev +2.1%

I Love McNellie's. Very good food. It's mostly American style entrees - the burgers are excellent - with a few pub grub items in the mix. Their Fish & Chips is consistently good. But the food is the bonus. You go for their exceptional beer selection. McNellie's has revolutionized the culture of beer drinking in Tulsa and I say "Cheers!" to them.

dmcgilvray, Mar 04, 2013
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James E. McNellie's Public House in Tulsa, OK
95 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.