James E. McNellie's Public House
Taps: / Bottles:
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 48 | Reviews: 39 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
4.08/5 rDev -6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
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. McNellies 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. McNellies 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 McNellies, 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 dont 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 McNellies 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 McNellies; 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.
First / Last Visits: Wednesday 14th February / Tuesday 22nd May.
06-17-2007 17:09:43 | More by TheLongBeachBum
More User Reviews:
5/5 rDev +15.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
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!
03-24-2014 23:38:32 | More by zerocrane
James E. McNellie's Public House in Tulsa, OK
95 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.