JK O'Donnell's Irish Ale House

Your Rating: None
14 Ratings

Type: Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

121 West Wayne Street
Fort Wayne, Indiana, 46802
United States

(260) 420-5563 | map

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Added by littlehowtown on 06-29-2008

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Ratings: 14 |  Reviews: 6
Photo of Royals21
4.71/5  rDev +11.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Photo of mickmanhattan
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of mjmilholland
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

Good food, good beer. Can get crowded, which equals slow service but worth the wait.

85 characters

Photo of SoxFan
3.76/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of indianabeerman
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

nice bottle list as well as rotating taps. some good food here also. service is awesome

87 characters

Photo of IndyJ
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of mrjmann
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of burntoutphilosopher
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.75

atmosphere ... i'm here weekly. if there's a soccer game or something, this place comes alive like no other in the Fort. it's always packed, because it's always that good.

quality... buddy of mine worked here 3 years, it's still his favorite place to eat. VERY clean, home made authentic recipes, never had a bad anything here

service... this is where they lack, usually it's very busy, and they need more staff. i've waited embarrassingly long for another beer

Selection... 100+ beers, from all over the world in bottles. taps rotate frequently (a keg will sometimes not last the night if it's good). I've tried all kinds of fancy Trappists, and other offerings here. it's where i fell in love with Ommegang (three philosophers)

Food... the food here it's incredible. it's Irish, so it's not spicy... tastes like your momma's best cooking. it's the best Irish food I've ever had outside of Dublin, and is on par with any real irish pub i went to in Ireland.

Prices are great. you get home made food cheaper than applebees or other chains ... the beers can be expensive, but you're getting a rare import. they have a good range of prices from 3$ to 23$ for a bottle of beer, depending on if you want domestic, or a 2008 offering from some rare brewery in Europe you've never heard of.

i can't recommend this place highly enough. give it a try.

 1,349 characters

Photo of todste
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of mwcullnane
4.05/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Disclaimer: I play on J.K. O'Donnell's soccer team 'The Micks' - http://the-plex.ezleagues.ezfacility.com/teams/841553/The-Micks.aspx

Atmosphere: Better than the standard for FW bars - which is a converted warehouse.

Quality: OK, but how about some new beer menus?

Service: OK, but would be nice to have staff who know something about beer.

Selection: Selection is good, but not up to the standard set by the trion.

Food: Food is good. Smoked Salmon club sandwich is recommended.

Value: Pricey, but they sponsor my soccer team so that makes it reasonable

 560 characters

Photo of kundog18
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Atmosphere is standard Irish pub; lots of tables crammed into the front seating area, Irish paraphernalia, soccer "football" and/or rugby on the television, etc. A recently opened family room with a separate entrance is a welcome addition.

The centerpiece of a slowly improving downtown scene, JK O'Donnell's has been a welcome addition to the Ft. Wayne beer culture, such as it is...go for the food, but it won't be difficult to find a fine brew to accompany your fare.

On to the beer list - taps are fairly unimpressive, for the most part. Ten established taps with the usual Guinness, Bass, and the like, with a few local craft options such as Gumballhead. Two rotating taps that often have more interesting options - on my most recent visit, KBS. If an excellent tap list is your only consideration, Trion is a much better option. Bottle list is fairly extensive, with good examples of most styles well represented, and at fair prices. Behemoth for $20? Hell, that costs $18 before tax around here at the bottle shops, so bottle prices are very reasonable.

Food is good. Standard bangers & mash, fish & chips, shepherd's pie menu are pretty tasty, but the kitchen really shines with the specials. On my most recent visit, crab stuffed shrimp with shellfish risotto did not disappoint.

If you find yourself in FW looking for a brew and a good plate of food, you could do much worse. Recommended.

 1,404 characters

Photo of SwiftyMcBeer
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Overall, a good experience can be had at JK's. The tap selection is slightly above average and certainly not up to the standard for the area (Trion in New Haven). The bottle list is pretty comprehensive, in particular I thought the import list was intriguing. If you wish to graduate to scotch and whiskey, their selection is pretty extensive but I didn't give them any extra credit for that, this being Beer Advocate and all. The food was decent, I liked the ploughman's lunch, a good choice if you want to try a couple of different things in one setting. All and all a decent effort, if they can polish up a few things, we could be on to something. Certainly better then the rest of the downtown Fort Wayne schlock.

 717 characters

Photo of wingedeel
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

JK O'Donnell's is a welcome addition to the lacking, but slowly improving, Ft Wayne beer scene.

Location is downtown on Wayne St, so parking can be a problem on weekdays. Nice, laid back place with a bar in the middle, and tables/booths on both sides.

The tap selection is just ok, they had Sierra Nevada Harvest and Three Floyds Gumball Head on when I visited, as well as Smithwicks, Guinness, and a couple of others I don't remember. The bottle selection was better, including FFF Behemoth, and quite a few other worthwhile beers, including some decent Belgian selections. They seemed to have way too many wheat beers, and all the usual borderline selections, but of their 78 or so bottle beer selections, at least 1/4 were worthwhile.

Food was pretty good, and prices for the most part reasonable. Not a huge selection, but the corned beef on rye was quite good for the area. I also had an appetizer of fried cheese which I would probably not order again.

Here is hoping that business at JK O'Donnell's is good enough that they can weed out a few of the redundant beers, and perhaps expand their food menu some. As it is, JK O'Donnell's is a nice place to stop for the Ft Wayne beer advocate.

 1,199 characters

Photo of littlehowtown
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I got a chance to visit this gem in Fort Wayne during a work trip, and I was so glad to stumble across it. It is a haven in the midst of the light lager hell that is Fort Wayne.

Every time I have been to Fort Wayne, I always ask my local escorts where to go for great beer. I figure the 2nd largest city in the state should have all sorts of tasty treats. Pretty much the exact opposite is true, JK's being one of the very few exceptions.

You walk in to a downtown pub with great wood treatment throughout. The bar stands in the middle of the restaurant, kind of like an island for drinks. Seats around it are comfortable, with enough space to eat a meal. Every time I've been, there has been a great eclectic bunch of people to talk and drink with. Booths and tables are set up kind of around the bar, and there's a partially closed space (1/2 walls) towards the back corner. There's also a patio open during fair weather seasons for al fresco dining.

Service is solid, the staff seems to know what they are talking about. A couple of times I have had a "foodie" type guy wait on me, and he's always a great time, very excited about good food and drink.

On to that, the beer menu is well laid out. Last I was there, among the many offerings, things like La Chouffe, Kulmbacher Eisbock, and some traditional mead from the UK were on the menu. American craft is also represented, including a couple Indiana offerings. Seasonals and limited releases are brought in as well, be sure to ask about them if there isn't a sheet about them. I got to try an Olfabrikken Porter off of that list earlier this year.

The food is excellent, great traditional UK pub fare is at the core of it. Their soup is always great. Ploughman's lunch is a fun one, and their specials are tasty, too. I especially remember a steaky white fish entree I had for lunch on a recent visit. Seared and served with a roasted bell pepper sauce, from scratch pesto, and a rich, nutty parmesan risotto. Yes...yes that was good.

Prices are reasonable for a nicer restaurant putting out quality dishes, but it's not a bargain shopper type of place. The menu is on their website if you want to see what you're getting into.

If there were any complaint, I would say that even though their bottle selection is very well planned and eclectic, their drafts tend to be on the typical side, although things like Speckled White Hen and Warbird Shanty Irish do give you a couple of nice options. All draft can also be served in 1/2 pints as well.

Overall a total quality place really trying to run a good beer establishment. The owners and servers are all open to suggestion, as they want to serve what people are interested in having. Definitely worth a trip if you are in the Fort Wayne area.

 2,754 characters

JK O'Donnell's Irish Ale House in Fort Wayne, IN
Place rating: 4.22 out of 5 with 14 ratings
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