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Kelleher's Irish Pub & Eatery

Not Rated.
Kelleher's Irish Pub & EateryKelleher's Irish Pub & Eatery
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

21 Ratings
Ratings: 21
Reviews: 14
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 21.38%
Taps: 20
Bottles: 90
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

619 SW Water St
Peoria, Illinois, 61602-5114
United States
phone: (309) 673-6000

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: mportsch on 07-09-2005)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 21 | Reviews: 14 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by frampin:
Photo of frampin
4.88/5  rDev +19.9%

Limited, but VERY impressive hand-picked tap selection. Same for bottles, including a retired DFH (Golden Era). The food is where this place shines, though. I ate there three days in a row during the International Beerfest this year. I spent less than $8 on each meal and the only thing keeping me awake afterwards was the feeling that my stomach might explode ( a la Monty Python's Meaning Of Life).

The draught and bottle prices are reasonable i.e. $6 for a snifter of DH Double Crooked Tree on tap and the same for a 12oz. of DFH Golden Era ( which I didn't expect to find at a store, let alone a pub).

I would have given Kelleher's all 5.0's across the board, but if you decide to check them out, go during the day. The first lunch my friends and I had there, the head bartender came out to our table and we chatted about the Double Crooked Tree; us being from Michigan and all. At night, not only is it wall-to-wall people, but our server was, well let's say pre-occupied (generous sarcasm). To her credit though, we never had to remind her what we ordered more than once.

I wish this place was closer to where I live, but if it was I would probably just spend all my free time there (read: money).

Slainte!

frampin, May 01, 2008
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Photo of box299
2/5  rDev -50.9%

How do I give a low score and still say reasonably priced? I can't!
Worst fish and chips I have ever tried. They were out of my first two beer choices and run specials on regular mass produced stuff. This was my first visit and I went with people who raved about the place on the way in... and apologized for the place on the way out. This place has some fame in the Peoria area because of it's connection with the local legend... Sully! It has turned into the same kind of place that Sully always ran... bad food... average drinks but a nice crowd.

If you are a beer fan... go next door. If you are hungry ... go next door and order a pizza.

box299, Jun 26, 2010
Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Stopped in here today. It was tucked back next to the Rhodell brewery, adjacent to a seemingly abandoned building undergoing renovations inside.

There was a hostess station just inside the door, with a fireplace and small seating area. Once inside, the bar was on the right, with tables to the left. The narrow space opened up to even more table seating and wooden booths. The bar itself was fairly small with seating for 12. Overhead there were exposed wooden beams and flooring, with salvaged architectural ornaments framing the dining area. "Purveyors of stout, fine ales, and lagers" signage adorns the row of french doors on the front end of the building. There were lots of beer signs and knick-knacks around. Three large old-timey landscape paintings hung above the bar.

Selection was great with few rarities from Port and Boulevard (Older Vis, High Tide, Saison Brett, BB Quad). There were a few quality taps, 60/40 craft to macro, but the craft taps were choice (Perkulator, Left Hand Milk Stout on nitro). The bottle list had alot of filler also, a ton of AB and Miller varieties alongside 5 Goose Island, 7 Boulevard, 6 DFH, a few Founders, Green Flash West Coast IPA, Alpha King, and some nice featured seasonals. Other notable taps were Bells Rye Stout, Northwind, and Delerium. Top shelf bourbon selection.

Service was ok, pretty standard, no beer conversation, just pretty girls, which is fine for what they're shooting for. More of a place that has a broad appeal while being a specialty beer bar at the same time.

emerge077, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of dismal
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

Been here a few times now and I'm pretty sure I loved this place! I find myself coming here whenever I'm in town and now I find myself coming to town just to make a stop here. The atmosphere is great, an Irish pub feel that makes you feel right at home as soon as you sit down. Pretty much a restaurant with a freakish beer selection. They've got roughly 90 or so bottles or so their website says and I'd believe it. Bottles range from your typical macros to everything else from Boulevard, Three Floyds, Dogfish Head, Bells, Rogue, Unibroue, Ballast Point, and many many others. Quite a nice selection and things come and go. On tap they've got no macros but some popular imports and other popular beers like Guinness, Blue Moon, Smithicks, Beamish, Harp, and then others like Bells, Sierra Nevada, Rogue, Goose Island, New Holland, Southern Tier, and many others. What originally brought me here was that they had Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout on tap (which was incredible). After a few visits it ran out which it was replaced with Goose Island Night Stalker. So they've got a great tap selection! Things rotate in and out and depending on seasons and what not they might have more stouts or more pale ales or wheats just depending. So selection between taps and bottles is pretty nice. Check their website before going as they have updates on their selectons. The food there is pretty good as well. I've had some of their appetizers and their burger and it's really good. Price wise a bit expensive but pretty much worth it. Price for the beer is pretty good, they've got some specials as well and even without them I wouldn't complain about the prices. I've only encountered a little bit of the staff and they all seem extremely nice. One of the only bartenders I've dealt with there knew her beers pretty well which was a huge plus. Overall a great place to go eat, grab a drink, or both. I find myself here once a week now if I've got the time and money. Definitely a great bar with a very nice selection, I'll be returning many times for sure.

dismal, Jul 15, 2009
Photo of mynie
4.15/5  rDev +2%

This is a friggin JOINT, right here. The decor is a little upscale brewpubbish, very self-aware and a little too richly ersatz for my tastes. This is backed up by the fact that the majority of the patrons were drunk L7s in their mid 40s to late 50, and they were all drinking Bud Light.

However, the actual building is awesome, the servers are awesome, the layout is awesome, and if you keep your eyes open you'll spot a guy or two who's into good beer.

Tap selection, for downstate Illinois, was epic. Tap selection would have been very good in downtown Chicago, actually, but in Peoria it was epic. One offs and rares from Southern Tier, Rogue, and Founders, along with all the usual suspects you'll find in Illinois. Even though it's billed as a Irish bar, Guinness, thank god, is not king here.

Food was kind of middle of the road, but since it was reasonably priced I'm not complaining. Beers were a little steep, but that may be because all the ones I drank were high ABV.

mynie, Mar 27, 2009
Photo of BedetheVenerable
4.56/5  rDev +12%

Kelleher's:

I've been going here for several years now, off and on, but have only recently begun to take advantage of all this great little Irish pub offers. The beer selection is great, they have probably 30-40 different beers by the bottle, including some of the slightly more difficult-to-find D.F.H. and other beers. They also have 15-20 beers on tap, mostly micros and the classic imports. While they have all the major "just branching out" beer crowd favorites (Harp, Bass, Guinness, Sam Adams, Blue Moon, etc) they also have a lot of seasonal specialties by Goose Island, Rogue, Moylan's, Delirium, Capital, Unibroue, and many, many more.
The atmosphere is great: early in the night or on "off nights" it's a very slow, mellow crowd, but on busy nights or game day it's loud and a bit raucous. It's in a small brick building on the riverfront; the ceiling's exposed, it's all old wood and faded brick, a very traditional Irish/English pub feeling.

Overall: The beer selection is the best in downstate Illinois, the staff (most of them) are knowledgeable and will talk to you about beer styles, hops, malt varieties, etc, until you are blue in the face (provided they're not busy) and I've heard the food's great for authentic pub grub (though I haven't tried it myself). Overall, this is a great little beer bar and (if you go on a Monday especially) 20oz pints of great beer are $3.00!!!

PS...while not strictly BA related...their single malt Scotch and Irish whiskey selections are fantastic!

BedetheVenerable, Dec 23, 2008
Photo of birchstick
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%

I absloutely love this place. I hit it up for the first time in the middle of July and have been back 4 times since.

First, the beer. Great selection both on tap in bottles. They have a pretty solid of amount of beer on tap that rotates pretty frequently. There are drinks, like beamish and guiness, that are expected at an Irish bar, however they also have a bunch of other stuff on tap. They also have a beer of the month with a $5 for the first fill/ $2.50 for refills, plus you keep the glass. They also have a pretty extensive bottle list. Also, they discount stuff that is getting old (Goose Island IIPA was $4/bottle).

Second, the food. This place has some very delicious Irish food. Definately the best Irish fare I have had. Their other food is quite good as well (their waffle fries and beamish beef sandwich are highly recommended).

Overall, this place has a great menu for both beer and food. It has a great atmosphere as well, with shuffleboard and darts upstairs and seating outside. This is a great place for a good dinner or to hang out during a night out.

birchstick, Aug 18, 2008
Photo of Vixie
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%

Visited here for the first time today with my wife, and was quite happy with our choice. The old building makes the Irish pub atmosphere seem more authentic, it's designed in a way to encourage a social atmosphere. Inside the door is a nice fireplace with tables, but on a cold day is a bit too close to the front doors for comfort. The bar is large, with booths as well as a few tables set up in the more open areas. Plenty of woodwork and Irish theme decor adds to the atmosphere.

I was impressed with the selection of beer, Peoria is not known as a place to get much out of the mainstream brews. To have a brewery like Founders on tap is unusual for this area, and is a big plus to me. The beer list is large, and I like the fact that they use the BA ratings on it to help you choose if you're not familiar with a particular beer. The staff was friendly, but I could tell they weren't overly versed in beer, I got the impression that the more experienced crew may come in during peak times.

I had a glass of Gouden Carolus Cuvee Van De Keize, served in a brandy snifter, as well as a glass of Founder's Breakfast Stout. The former was $6, the latter $5. A bit pricey, but to get this quality of beer locally, worth it.

The food was good, I had the chicken and chips platter, large strips of chicken in a nice batter, served with a hot dipping sauce. The sauce was very good, set off the flavor nicely. The chips are ok, nothing special, and could have used a larger portion, but the food is very reasonably priced at $7.75. My wife had the pot roast, which was served over a piece of bread and mashed potatoes. She said it was very good, and a good value at $7.75.

Overall a very good experience, if I had a friend from out of state visiting who appreciated good beer, I would have no problem taking them here.

Vixie, Jan 18, 2008
Photo of bluemoonswoon
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Went here yesterday and had a good time. The place is very spacious with traditional Irish pub grab hanging all over the walls, etc., etc. There was a large seating area out front and a smaller on inside then the main bar area past that behind glass doors. The bar itself was small compared to the size of the place. Maybe seating for 12. Three T.V.s in the bar area and a very large, very open eating area in the back with a place for private parties. What I liked about the size of this place was that I wasn't bothered by smokers because the large size of the place difuses most of the smoke, so yeah pretty nice.

The selection of taps was nice, about 12 many I've heard but few I've tried, the Rouge selections there were fantastic. The bottle list was extensive though you must request a menu and they were out of a beer that I wanted, but what can you do.

The staff was very friendly and helpful even though they might not be versed in beer, the bartender might have been but I sat at a table so I don't really know.

The food selection is tradional Irish Pub food, but when I got there the main kitchen had closed already and was only serving appetizers and sandwiches. I got the potato skins which were okay but not fantastic. The prices for everything were pretty good, you can get a Founder's anything for 3.50. Bud is 3.00 to give some comparison. Would for sure return here, and maybe the brewery next door the next time I'm in the area.

bluemoonswoon, Oct 06, 2007
Photo of mizzoueng
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

A - Nice, plenty of tv's to watch the Cards/Cubs game on. Plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. Not many people there but was told that it tends to get packed when Bradley University is in session.

Q - Overall, very good quality. THe beers were fresh and the food was cooked superb and quickly.

Service - Our waitress knew nothing about beer and that was fine. I knew what I wanted. She (Erin) was always watching us to amek sure our glasses were never empty, but we did have to ask for glasses quite a bit. I think she thought you would just reuse the same glass for the different beers.

Selection - Kellehers touts a large beer menu. But when we were there the did not have it updated and were out of about 25% of the menu. On top of that there were beers in the cooler that were noton the menu. Gumballhead was available as well and Behemoth in 22's.

Food - I had the fish and chips and my buddy had the Irish Sausage sandwich. It was good, only thing i would have asked was for more chips.

V - Food was super cheap, 7.75 for just about every entree. Beers were in line for a beer bar, but could have been a little cheaper. Midas touch was $6 or $6.50 a bottle when a 4 pack is $9

Overall a nice place. Good beer menu but they had stopped stocking Dark Horse Brewery and will not be bringing it back. Gumballhead was there, but it was hidden and no one knew. A cigar "menu" is available, its the humidor. Opening and closing the humidor for every Tom, Dick, and Harry is not good for the cigars. They did have a beer special, Arcadia Whitsun, $5 and you got an Arcadia tulip glass and refills were $2. Not bad at all.

They did have KBF on the menu, but were out. I was highly disappointed.

mizzoueng, Jul 27, 2007
Photo of pmcadamis
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%

Kelleher's is one of my favorite places to take friends and family from out of town when they come to visit. It's on the waterfront in downtown Peoria and within walking distance to many other fine bars, restaurants, and local attractions.

The building itself used to be a warehouse for goods waiting to be shipped down the Illinois river, and much of the original character remains. Kelleher's is tucked back in a row of old brick buildings along a stretch of the riverfront known as Le Veaux Carrie (I probably totally screwed up the spelling, and I have no idea what that means in French, but it's a cool area).

There is a wonderful outdoors area with tables in addition to a semi-outdoors porch with wide open french doors. The interior of the building has original brickwork that really adds to the turn of the century ambiance.

The beer menu is great for a place that is primarily a restaurant. I haven't been there often enough to try even half of thier selection, but the on-tap menu changes frequently. Last time I was there they had DFH 90 minute DIPA (a personal favorite), St. Louis Framboise lambic, several Shlafly offerings (I had the Whitbier), and of course Guiness and Beamish on tap.

The waitstaff is semi-knowlegable (last time, our waitress was eager to tell me that Schlafly is located in St. Louis...that's a start, right?), and the food is excellent. The location and ambiance are the best in town, and the food is excellent. They have mostly Irish fare (bangers and mash, sheppard's pie, and the like), and a varitey of burgers.

I will keep going back to enjoy the atmosphere and try new beers as I have yet to try even a fraction of their enoumous beer selection.

I highly recommend checking this place out, but beware: if you ask for a beer menu they will only show you what is on tap. Be specific and ask about all of the beers, on-tap and bottled.

Bonus: It's next door to (and actually shares a patio with) John S. Rhodell's brewpub!

pmcadamis, Sep 05, 2006
Photo of Redrover
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%

I stopped in Kelleher’s after the visiting the brewpub next door. This is a nicely decorated and airy pub. The made great use of stone, the existing brick and wood to carve out a warm and inviting atmosphere. They also have a nice patio in front.

The tap list was very nice. They have 17 beers and one cider. The offerings included 2 beers each from Great Lakes & Founders, plus single offerings from Schlafys, rouge and others. Only two semi macro tap offerings and they were Blue Moon & Leinies Honey Weiss. The bottle selection was also good, I would guess they have about 40 choices and 30 of these will have interest to BAs.

The service during dinner was professional but not overly friendly. The bartender however was very nice and was happy to talk beer. A real pro!

The food was decent. I liked my Bass Ale fish & chips. The fish was light and tasty. The Irish chips were a bit of a let down. Decent slaw as well.

I would recommend this to any BA who ventures to Peoria.

Redrover, May 11, 2006
Photo of mportsch
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%

Update 4/11/07: Kelleher's has a website that seems to be updated fairly often with their tap selections, and it also has a full list of their bottles (including prices). It also has a full food menu and some photos for those wondering what the place looks like. Here's the website:
http://www.kellehersirishpub.com/

Update 2/8/2007: They finally have a comprehensive bottle menu, complete with BA rating, ABV, and price. As an added bonus, they have a list of bottle specials on the back of the menu - basically the beers they want to get cleared out of their cooler. Currently it includes Devil Dancer for $3 (!), and Schlafly Christmas Ale, Founders Rubaeus, and several Great Lakes Brewing beers for $2 - can't beat that!

Update 3/30/06: I moved the selection down to 4.5 from 5, as they didn't have as many interesting beers on tap last time I was there. Still lots of good stuff, but not quite "exceptional."

*review updated on 12/19/05 - the beer selection has changed a lot in the past 6-8 months!*
Kelleher's is a great pub located near the riverfront in downtown Peoria. The atmosphere is big and open, with lots of seating, including patio seating in the summertime. Old wood and Irish artifacts line the walls. The crowd is a real mix of people (ages 25-60), and everything is pretty casual. The place lends itself easily to conversation, since there are only a few small TVs located in isolated spots. At the far rear end of the establishment, there's an open-air upper level that includes a shuffleboard table and extra seating for those so inclined. The jukebox has a decent selection of tunes, although I don't usually notice the music - it's usually kept fairly low. Like I said, this bar is all about lively conversation.
As far as beer, they have 18 taps, populated almost exclusively with great craft beer - and no BMC! Note that 3 of the taps are located on the wall to the far left of the bar, so you could easily overlook them. Make sure to check them out! Current draft highlights:

Bell's Two Hearted Ale
Schlafly Imperial Stout
DFH 90 Minute IPA
Flying Dog Wild Dog Reserve Weizenbock
Delirium Noel
Sierra Nevada Celebration
Pyramid Snowcap
Anchor Our Special Ale 2005
Great Lakes Christmas Ale

They've also got a solid bottle selection that is constantly expanding with hard-to-find goodies - here's the current highlights:

Bell's Batch 7000, 20th Anniversary, and the Wheat series (2,4,6,8,Love)
DFH Raison D'extra, Midas Touch, and World Wide Stout
Samichlaus
Great Lakes entire line, including Nosferatu
Carnegie Stark Porter
Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale
Chimay Blue and White
Delirium Nocturnum and Tremens
Liefman's Kreik
New Holland Dragon's Milk

The quality has been great - I go there about once a week and have never had a bad beer. Prices are reasonable, but some of the harder-to-find bottles can be accordingly expensive (as much as $11) - ask the bartender before you buy. My main complaint with Kellehers is the lack of a good bottle menu, listing prices and a short description - hopefully that can be remedied in the near future. Currently, you can see most of the interesting bottles in a refrigerated display case at the left end of the bar, but it would be nice to have them all laid out on paper (*EDIT - they now have the bottle menu printed out on a sheet of paper. No descriptions or prices, but it's all laid out to see. ** RE-EDIT - they've got a good bottle menu now, complete with prices and ABV - and BA rating!)
The one other complaint I have: the waitresses generally don't know a lot about the beer selection (another reason that a bottle menu would be nice). You'd be better off talking to one of the bartenders if you have any questions. Chris, the beer manager and occasional bartender, is very knowledgable about all of their selections and happy to talk about them. Other than this small complaint, the service is good and friendly. The beers are always served in either a pint glass or a snifter, and the glasses are never chilled.
I enjoy the food - the Beamish beef bites and Guinness pot roast are probably my favorites - and it is priced very reasonably. It's above-average pub grub at a low price.
All in all, Kellehers is developing into a top-notch beer bar, smack in the middle of Illinois. Along with the Rhodells brewpub right next door, it makes for a nice evening for any BA.

mportsch, Dec 19, 2005
Kelleher's Irish Pub & Eatery in Peoria, IL
91 out of 100 based on 21 ratings.