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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
96
world-class

44 Ratings
Ratings: 44
Reviews: 16
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: n/a
Taps: 60
Bottles: 200
Cask: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

1100 Classen Dr
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 73103-2608
United States
phone: (405) 601-7468

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @mcnellies_okc

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-29-2008

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 44 | Reviews: 16
Photo of AdamTebbs
4.48/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

Got the Irish lunch. A Guinness and a bowl of irish stew for like 7 bucks. It was great. I love this place.

Photo of Narthax
4.65/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Location: As other reviewers have said, toughest part is finding a parking spot. Would recommend early arrival or you may have to walk a bit. Inside the bar has three levels so you can kinda choose your environment (horse shoe bar, tables area, smoking bar)

Quality: All the on tap stuff is good and fresh. You can occasionally get a bottle past its prime but you face the same risk at most such establishments, most bottles are great.

Service: Been here several times and the staff is always friendly and knows their stuff. One time I helped educate a new hire about some different beer, but the fact that she was curious and listens to customers so well is just a mark of great service to come

Selection: Top Notch. You'll be hard pressed to find more of what's available in Oklahoma.

Food: Better than most bar food you'll find for that price. I would eat here but I would not go just for the food.

Overall: This is a great place to visit and one of my favorites in OKC. Definitely worth stopping by if you are in town.

Photo of Amp
4.93/5  rDev +13.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

My favorite place to get a pint in OKC. Good food and great selection! I would strongly recommend this place to anyone wanting some great beer in a relaxed atmosphere. This location has three levels. The first floor is a horseshoe type bar with tables around the edges, the second floor is all tables, the third door is another bar and is the smoking section.

Photo of Beertraveler73
4.19/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

So after spending a lot of time lurking, I've decided to start reviewing the places I go to.

- Location - tough for parking. If you get here early, you can park in the lot. If it's after 4pm on a weekeday, you are SOL due to the hospital across the way

- Selection - pretty decent tap and bottle list. Always have a special bottle for the "beer geels" Fantome Hiver was on special for 14$ when I was there. I will say that the local OK beers are lacking on draft but were there in bottle selection.

- Service - I sat at a two seat table across from the bar. When I got here at 3:30pm there wasn't a spot at the bar. Kat was amazing. She made some great recommendations and was a pleasure to have as a server. She didn't push anything and was very informative about the questions I had about the beer. I had a beer that was clearly past its date and she came over and swapped it out without a second question.

- Food - well, they have 3.99 Burger Wednesdays. I'd recommend that. I had the cheese platter and that was more than enough for one. They had huge bricks of cheese and enough plain crackers to keep me happy

Overall, it was a great experience. They do have a smoking floor on the third floor. I will say that the second floor does get a decent smell of smoke due to the floor above. That would be my only knock about the place as I loathe the smell of cigarettes.

-BT

Photo of russpowell
4.08/5  rDev -6.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Start out by stating parking is a nightmare & the main reason I can't see me going back...

Nice vibe to the place, not a as old-worldy as the Tulsa one, but still good

Beer quality was pretty good, one of the beers I chose was a bit tired

Service at the bar was great, but another person was truly need there at happy hour

Selection was almost optimal for OK, a few more regional & local choices were possible, but not there

The food wasn't near as good as the food as the one in T-town, my Pulled Pork sandwich was not too impressive

Worth a visit if you can get parking...

Photo of HardTarget
4.63/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Oh my.
Atmosphere: Mix matched chairs cover a two story location. Upstairs more dinner seating, downstairs tables around the impressive bar. You must have "X" many tattoos in order to work here, but you must know beer too.

Quality: Was concerned about the age of bottles and some of the taps given the extensive selection, so stuck to more local brews on tap. All in excellent condition and appropriately served.

Service: Friendly, knowledgeable, attentive even during a busy evening rush, top notch.

Selection: Just silly. So many tap selections, so many bottle selections, a freaking firkin. Just wow.

Food: One of the best steaks I've had. Hard to say from a Texan. Everything was tasty and multiple dining partners had only praise.

Value: Through the roof. Cheap eats, very reasonable beer prices, excellent quality, just a world class place. Almost enough to make me consider living in OKC.

Photo of csiewert
3.95/5  rDev -9.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

This is one of the first places I went to when I moved to the OKC area... I was looking for somewhere to sit and have a good beer and keep coming back and trying something new. The selection rotates and is on average very good... unfortunately like some other places I have reviewing in Oklahoma, they are limited to what they can get in the state. Generally, if you can get it in Oklahoma, you can get it here. The food is the typical bar food and is greasy and good for the consumption of beers/curing hangovers. Like the Abner bar in Norman (which is technically the same bar), the offer a pint night on Mondays where you get to keep the glass that the special beer of the night comes in... but make sure you get there early because they will run out. The service was good and the place fits a lot more people than you would expect because of the multiple levels.

Definitely worth a visit if you are in town.

Photo of chiccabeer
4.65/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This is amazing bar to have in Oklahoma. They offer a wide selection of beers on tap and in bottle. Every month they bring in a few new beers, and always carry a decent amount of season brews. The staff is very helpful and knowledgeable about beer. Not only do they know different types of beer, but also how they are brewed.
You can also sign up for their beer club. You have to drink 200 different beers to complete this challenge. With the large selection this isn't a difficult thing to accomplish. You can only sign off three beers a night, so it will take some time.
On Wednesdays their burgers are three dollars a piece, and I consider it the best burger in the city.

Photo of claybeer
4.55/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

This is a must stop if you're in Oklahoma City! The beer selection is amazing. They have a long list of taps with several seasonal and specialty beers that rotate out. This is one of the few places I have been able to find the highly talked about COOP Brewery (only on draft) out of Oklahoma. I hope to try a flight of the COOP beers next time I'm there. They have knowledgeable bartenders and beautiful servers. The food is inexpensive for the quantity you get. I love the sweet potato fries. I usually print their huge beer selection from their website the day before I go so that I can plan out what new beers I'm going to try. Some friends went there for St. Patty's Day and had a blast but get there early. Also, for any Scotch lovers, they have one of the largest selection I have seen in the area.

Photo of Travler
4.28/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

The layout is a bar wrapping around the draft handles. There's probably enough room for 30 people at the bar. Small tables surround the bar. And a loft area overlooking the bar with tables.

There was no smoking here! The first bar in Oklahoma City I've found smoke free. I don't know if there was a smoking area or not.

A great selection of beer here. Forty to fifty drafts I'm guessing with representation from all over. Belgians, British Isles, US micros, etc. The selection of bottled beer was pretty huge--didn't count, but it was north of 100. Of note; this is the first establishment I've seen in my travels that carried Blue Moon and Killian's, and cataloged them as Coors Products.

The food was well prepared. I've had the salmon, and a burger. They were both cooked just as ordered--also a rarity.

I'll definitely come back when I'm in town.

Photo of bump8628
3.68/5  rDev -15.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

McNellie's is located in the up-and-coming midtown district of Oklahoma City.

They have a great beer selection, as well as really good food. They keep a nice selection of taps and have a huge bottle list. McNellie's also has a beer engine for serving cask beer (the only one in Oklahoma City). The burgers are pretty fair and the sweet potato fries are fantastic. Service has always been good in my experience.

In my opinion, McNellie's is really the only beer bar worth visiting in Oklahoma City. It can get pretty packed on Friday and Saturday night so if you are looking for a quiet place to sip on a beer you may want to avoid it at those times.

Re-reviewed on 8/16/2010

I'm going to go ahead and update now that McNellie's is well-established.

The beer selection and food remain good. Beer selection to me doesn't just mean the place has a lot of beers, but a lot of beers I'm likely to order. I've seen places with ten taps have a better selection than McNellie's. The food is fairly priced and you can't beat $3 burger night on Wednesdays. The beer is kept well enough, I've never had a bad or stale pint, but that's where my praise for the beer side of this pub stops. The beer is overpriced. (PERIOD) Bullshit 14oz (12oz pours once you stick an inch of head on the beer), thick bottomed "pint" glasses at $5-7 per for average, unexciting beers. The bartenders know more than your average Okie about beer (which isn't saying much), but not much more. They throw the term "dark beer" around a lot if that tells you anything about their knowledge of beer styles. Oh, and the beer engine never has anything on...so much for that bit of sunshine.

The bar is usually full of late 20 early 30 something tools that wear too much cologne, think they are the shit, and drink big cans of Sapporo. Now that RePUBlic Gastropub is open they aren't the only decent beer bar in town and now have some competition, not that RePUBlic is a beer haven either.

Bottom line is that if this place was anywhere other than Oklahoma it wouldn't be thought of nearly as highly. It's one of only two puddles of muddy water in the beer desert that is Oklahoma. Having been to bars all over I can tell you this place doesn't compete. Particularly having been to World class pubs in England and Scotland, the faux-Irish style of this place is corny. Any Irishman would laugh their ass off (and kick the owner's ass for the 14oz pint glasses too). The only thing that keeps me coming occasionally is the monthly beer special which is sometimes decent, however half the time they don't have it in stock.

Update on 7/14/2011:

Now doing "Firkin Fridays" featuring locally brewed cask ales, usually with a special dry hop, fruit addition, etc. The graphic-tee-wearing-mid-40-somethings have moved down the road to RePUBlic. McNellie's is starting to become worthy again.

Photo of webbcreative
4/5  rDev -8.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Wonderful place here. They have a tremendous selection on taps for this area. You can check their website for the current selections, but I had Maudite, Old Foghorn, Rogue Nut Brown Ale, Left Hand Milk Stout, Young's Double Chocolate Stout...I think they had about 80 different taps in all though, and quite an extensive bottle list also.

They also have terrific food, we got the burgers, and the sweet potatoe fries, both were tremendous. [burger nights on wed. $3 burgers]

They also have pint nights on mondays - buy the pint, keep the glass.

Can't say enough good things about this place.

Photo of brewintheLou
4.28/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Stopped in on a Thursday night, and the lower level bar had 2 seats open which is what we needed. Bar is very large and takes up the majority of the floor with only maybe 3 tables and then some seating along the window. Quality of the beer was pretty solid, but I must say that I ordered an Atlas IPA and it was either very old or the lines were bad. I know that it was not supposed to taste like it did since I had it a few hours earlier in Tulsa. Selection is very nice, making it the best place in OKC to get a beer. I would like to see some of the handles replaced with some bigger beers though. The bottle selection is far superior to the draft selection.

Photo of fastfwd
4.16/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5

I just found out about this place opening. I went by last night on a Wednesday night and it was completely packed. Maybe because there was a concert last night? I don't know, but seats were scarce. I was surprised they had that much business on a Wednesday night. My friend and I sat at a couple of barstools at the third floor bar. There are an abundance of tables, but I prefer the bar if I can get it.

It's a really nice place. I'm not terribly familiar with that area of town, but I observed that it is being revitalized and it's just a stone's throw from downtown. I'm pleased to see that we have a new high end beer establishment in OKC.

The selection and quality were pretty outstanding. I enjoyed their Marshall's IPA. Not a bad effort at all. They are a bit pricy on some stuff, but they do have a really nice selection and they did have a few quality specials of the month.

The girls that served us weren't particularly knowledgeable about beer. I would hate to come in there without knowing much about beer and have them try to guide me to a selection. If you know your beer though you should be alright.

I've been to quite a few nice beer bars around the country and this one holds it's own.

Photo of McStagger
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

DAMN...RIGHT. This place nails it. Better beer selection than anywhere in OKC, this bar has exploded in the past couple of months.

A: Good atmosphere. Got very busy, but the owner picked one of the best locations in the city to open up a high end beer bar. None of those bricktown shenanigans here.

Q: Restaurant has three levels. Bottom level designated mostly as a public house. Some tables, some bar space. No cigarette smoke to clog your brew. It was nice. Second level was more tables, again non smoking. I thought that was nice, since the first level tends to get a little on the LOUD side. Third level was smoking optional, which I thought was great. While they (the owners) could have made the entire bar smoking, they chose instead to confine the tobacco to the top floor, which has its own set of taps and bottles as well. Very nicely put together...except one might hurt themselves going down the stairs after a night of getting pissed.

Ser: Service was good. Possibly understaffed the night I was there, as it took a couple of minutes to get a brew. However, the manager came back, looking very disconcerted, explaining how he had spent ten minutes looking for the beer we ordered. That was nice of him to look.

Sel: While he may not have had the beer we ordered, it is completely understandable. With 300+ beers on tap and a swarm of archaic ass liquor laws (stupid okies!) to wade through, a beer will fall through the cracks. An alternative was mention, we ordered it and it was stellar.

F: Fish and chips. Never had it done better. Been to England and it wasn't as good. That being said, it's still pub fare, not a five star restaurant.

V: Food was a bit on the expensive side, as were the beers, but it was totally worth it. Easy and fun way to spend some coin.

Photo of wolffman17
4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4

McNellie's in OKC...it's strange to come to a different McNellie's after going to the original one in Tulsa for years. I was very excited to see how the OKC version panned out.

Located in the historic Plaza Court building, McNellie's is just north of downtown Oklahoma City in "midtown" where plenty of revitalizing is occurring. They've got the prime corner spot which makes for an interesting and out-of-the-norm space to work with because of the triangle shape of the building. In the center of the bottom floor sits the semi-oval bar with all 60 taps bunched up together. Booths line the wall around the bar. Because of the lack of space, the first floor can seem somewhat claustrophobic and crowded even if it's not that busy. It's a unique layout in that most of the seating and tables are on the second floor (which overlooks the lower lever). There's also a small third level for those that wish to smoke. Exposed concrete and air vents add to the atmosphere. The character of the place is good and will only get better over the years.

Service was good, but like any place that has a ton of taps it can be slow. No qualms about the quality of the brew. The selection is top notch (remember, for Oklahoma). Notable beers on tap, among others, during this visit: Unibroue Maudite, Holy Grail Ale, Petrus Dubbel, Koningshoeven Quad, Rogue Hazelnut, Choc Lefty 363 (Saison), and all three Marshall beers.

They also offer a diverse menu of better than average pub food. I recommend the Reuben or the 1/2 lb. hamburger. Make sure you try the sweet potato fries.

Excellent bar and highly recommended if you're in the area. Don't bother with Tapwerks, go here!

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James E. McNellie's Public House in Oklahoma City, OK
96 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.