The Irish Lion

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The Irish LionThe Irish Lion
16 Ratings
The Irish LionThe Irish Lion

Type: Bar, Eatery

212 West Kirkwood Avenue (5th Street)
Bloomington, Indiana, 47404
United States

(812) 336-9076 | map

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Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-08-2006

View: Place Reviews
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Ratings: 16 |  Reviews: 7
Photo of jaketaz
3.61/5  rDev -0.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 2.75 | food: 3

Photo of ovaltine
3.86/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Photo of fredmugs
3.36/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3

Photo of neckbracesub
3.64/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.25

Photo of TargaFlorio
3.66/5  rDev +0.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3 | food: 3.25

Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of samsbinky
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of delyea
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Yogidaddy
4.5/5  rDev +24%

Photo of flyingspatula
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5

Irish Lion has the greatest atmosphere in Bloomington. They have some good beers, but no great selection. They used to make us black and tans with Bells Two-Hearted and Guiness, but I guess they don't have the Two-Hearted anymore, which sucks! The food is not that good at all. OK, the Blarney Puffballs or whatever the hell they're called are good, and the potato skins with cheese and bacon are pretty good (with a shitload of salt). Fish and chips-no. Burger-no. I try to eat next door at Crazy Horse (an awesome place with 80 beers, but not as much atmosphere) then hang out at the Lion. It is, what I assume, an authentic style pub. At least it looks old and cool so what the hell. My girlfriend said it was a brothel back in the day. They do have a great whiskey selection. My favorite part of the Lion is the yard and half yard of Guiness. Oh yeah! My companies Xmas party was here and I got a half yard. Everybody thought I was nuts! Drank two that night and was as sober as Dick Cheney. I rule. The upstairs has some great old Guiness advertising. Overall I always have a good expirience here!

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Photo of emerge077
3.29/5  rDev -9.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5

Popped in here for a pint, and enjoyed the atmosphere most of all. All manner of taxidermied beasts, hanging clipper ship models, and random chandeliers. High tin ceilings, and old wood booths. It felt authentic for sure.

Beer wise, it was another story. I was more in awe of the whisky selection, numbering more than their beers. Paulaner was on tap, so I went for that (served in a pint with a lemon). Guinness I can get anywhere. Rare Ardbeg and other whiskeys, but beer not so much. The beers were more macro dominated. Boo.

Service was quick and to the point at the bar. I'd return for dinner and a Scotch flight, but not for beer.

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Photo of erz316
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

one of the better places in b-town to get a beer mainly for the fact that they have yards. the selection is good: smithwick's, guinness, leffe blonde (seasonal?), hacker pschorr, bass, harp. the only thing that is completely outrageous is how much they charge for an imperial pint of guinness, five bucks. its much cheaper to just get the half yard, and frankly I dont know why anyone would get the imp. pint. the bartenders are pretty uneducated for their craft, and always put the goddamn orange into the Weizenbier. the atmosphere can get a bit raucus as I have seen some trashed hospital workers wander in for a late night round. food is worth at least two visits, one for the lamburger, the other for the fish and chips. they have some good soups as well, but the pub grub is where its at.

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Photo of maskaggs
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

The Irish Lion is an excellent pub for an evening pint or tipple and the odd dinner. The atmosphere is cozy and welcoming, with an interesting layout downstairs featuring a beautiful, 100-year-old bar. The upstairs is best used as a banquet hall and can be disappointing if seated there during slow hours, but the downstairs pub is satisfying.

Many of the entrees are a bit pricey, but the "Pub Grub" section of the menu is well-priced and has delicious items to offer.

This pub really shines in its selection of whiskeys and scotches. The beer selection is decent, but the spirits are what one can really get into here. At least one of the managers is very knowledgeable about the liquors available and helpful if asked.

The waitstaff could be a bit more polite and better trained, but they are efficient and deliver food and drinks quickly.

I highly recommend The Irish Lion for a drink with friends on any given weekday or weekend.

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Photo of jtothamo
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5

I made my first visit to the Irish Lion many years ago. Recently, while in the area, I stopped in for lunch with friends. I was reminded why the Irish Lion was one of my favorite destination while in Bloomington.

I enjoyed the fish n' chips, beer selection, and the tastes my wife let me snag of her Irish lamb stew (which made me wish I had ordered that instead of the fish n' chips).

The Irish Lion avoids the college bar feel while in the midst of a thriving college scene.

It's definitely worth checking out!

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Photo of JamesS
4/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

The Irish Lion is a great Irish restaurant. The atmosphere is great, from the lay-out to the furniture to the music. While it may not be in Ireland, it's a great place. The food is excellent. The fish sandwhich is good, the soda bread is excellent, and the cetlic (lamb) stew is absolutely great. The service (both yesterday and today) was good, nothing spectacular, but it was adequate for this level of dining.

As far as beer, they have the usual UK/Irish imports, Guinness products, Murhpys, O'Hara, Newcastle, ect. They also have cider on draft and can do 1/2 and full yards. Nice bottle selection, too, which is also where you can get BMC products if you like.

The menu is a bit pricey, but you can get away with a lower bill if you just get a sandwhich/burger instead of a large enree.

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Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

The Irish Lion is one of my favorite places to go for a pint or dinner in Bloomington. The place is decorated wonderfully Irish; but not in a tacky way. There is upstairs (all ages) and downstairs (21+) seating, with full menu priveleges at both locations. The feel I get from The Irish Lion is geared more towards more familes/graduate students (Not a frat sister in sight - thank god). It's not a stuffy/uptight atmosphere at all, but you don't get the noise you get with all the other loud bars in Bloomington.. I would list names, but they don't deserve the free advertising.

Menu is full of Irish fare, and this is one of the best places to get fish in town.

Now to the drinks: Guinness, Harp, Bass, Newcastle, Weisse, Murphy's Stout, Pilsner Urquell & Cider ALL on Draught. Upon your request, The Irish Lion will serve your beer to you in a "half yard" which true to its name, is a fluted glass of beer a foot and a half tall. It's great fun.

If you want to hit a pub, but don't want the "atmosphere" of the other noise factory bars in town, I'd highly recommend dropping by here. It is pricier than other places, but the food is definitely worth it. I believe this is the only place in Bloomington you can get Guiness** (not to mention all the other beers they offer) on tap year-round. It's just a great place to go with your buddies, or to take your parents when they are in town to visit.

**Edit: Apparently I don't know what I'm talking about, according to the assclown who reviewed this place after I did. I meant to say that I think you can only get Murphy's on tap here. And if that guy thinks that the Irish Lion is bad, apparently he hasn't been to any of the bars on Kirkwood...

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The Irish Lion in Bloomington, IN
Place rating: 3.63 out of 5 with 16 ratings