In another year of change and growth for Waxhaw, one restaurant has made an indelible mark on Main Street. From first glance, an Irish pub is an unlikely resident for the town’s traditionally Southern stylings, but as Waxhaw continues to carve out what it wants to be, locals are thrilled to have Mary O’Neill’s as a defining staple.
On the cusp of celebrating its official one-year anniversary, Mary O’Neill’s Co-Owner Cairan Farrelly is awed by its success, and ever-grateful for its loyal customers. “I think it was just the perfect match,” remarked Farrelly. “People were looking for a neighborhood spot that was family friendly, where parents can come and grab a beer.”
It’s that laid-back, welcoming vibe combined with a stellar and authentically Irish menu that keeps people coming back time and time again. According to Farrelly, Irish food is very winter-weather friendly, so adding in some salads and lighter fare was a work-in-progress. Still, the most popular dishes are the Fish ‘N Chips, the Reuben, and their Banger’s Mash. The latter of which calls for Irish sausage, shipped in weekly from New York, served over a mound of mashed potatoes and garden peas, and topped with an onion gravy that’s been tweaked to perfection!
Mary O’Neill’s popularity for lunch and dinner propelled the owners to start looking into whether offering brunch would be a viable option. They tested the waters for St.Patrick’s Day and Mother’s Day to raving reviews, and by mid-summer, every Saturday and Sunday from 10am-1pm, it became a mainstay on the menu! The Full Irish Breakfast along with the stuffed Nutella- and banana-filled French toast are always crowd-pleasers; and a paired Bloody Mary or Mimosa is certainly a nice touch!
In celebration of their first anniversary, they’ll be hosting October Fest on September 15th. Utilizing the gravel lot next door, midday will feature the 12-piece German band, The Sauerkraut Band, perform amidst a traditional, Bavarian festival, complete with German food like brats and soft pretzels, and even German beer, straight from Munich itself. Then, the local band Vinyl Tones will carry the party into the evening hours. The event will also feature activities for kids, additional food trucks and local fare, and a collaboration with South Charlotte Dog Rescue to promote pet adoptions.
Since Mary O’Neill’s inception a year ago, the feedback from the community has been overwhelmingly positive, so it’s only fitting when Farrelly says, “Everyone loves a good Irish pub, ya know!” Indeed, they do.