Mary Kelly's
Mary Kelly's take on Shepherd's Pie. (Photo by Jac Bergenson)

by Jac Bergenson

* Taken from student blog, Hard Broiled 

Tucked away in the outskirts of Beacon, it’s almost as if you have to be in the know to find it. Preceded only by a sign, which only has “Bar & Restaurant” written over a shamrock, it seems as if Mary Kelly’s was designed to be stumbled upon.  Having never come across it in my time in Beacon, I didn’t know much of what to expect, aside from a glowing review or two from acquaintances.

My guest and I arrived at Mary Kelly’s after some confusion (again, if you haven’t been there before, it’s a little difficult to find), and I was immediately impressed by the size of the building.  It seemed as if the restaurant had been built in the shell of a former firehouse, two stories tall of bricks and mortar.

We walked in and were greeted promptly by a chef; as he walked us to our booth, I took notice of the large dining area; not only was there copious seating in the bar area, where we settled in, but there appeared to be a separate dining area on the other side of the floor.  Seating was spacious and comfortable, with local artwork hung upon the walls.

I noticed a chalkboard promoting the restaurant’s upstairs catering hall, opening this spring.  The board was adorned with Christmas-like illustrations, so no word on whether the catering hall has opened already.

Decorations aside, Mary Kelly’s is a restaurant and bar/pub, so it came as no wonder that the bar was the prominent feature of the dining room.  The bar had a number of beers on tap, and fortunately for beer snobs like myself, more than just the standard domestic fare.  I went for a pint of Goose Island, of which I had only had an IPA before.  I was pleasantly surprised when the beer I had selected was a stout, and wasn’t served overly cold either—stouts aren’t meant to be drunk ice cold.

As for the food, my guest and I started off by ordering two cups of potato soup.  Creamy and well-seasoned, the soup hit the spot on a cold night.  It was clearly made in-house, topped with crispy bacon (crispy is always the way to go), and served alongside Irish soda bread.

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