10 Questions about Culhane's Irish Pub with owner Mary Jane Culhane
1. Tell us about Culhane's?
We're a family business owned by 4 sisters from county Limerick, Ireland. Since opening our doors in 2005, Culhane’s has captured the attention of both everyday diners and culinary critics. It landed a coveted spot on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and has been covered by local reporters fascinated by the pub’s distinctive menu and entertainment options.
2. What makes Culhane's special?
It's the magical experience that will bring you back again. Best of Irish Hospitality with lots of character and charm.
3. What sort of food do you serve?
Secret house spices and plenty of Guinness bring a fresh twist to Irish favorites such as Bangers and Mash, Shepherd’s Pie, and Arthur’s Fish & Chips. That, along with delicious salads, fresh fish and pasta to serve the locals.
4. What are your top 3 recommendations for someone new to Culhane's?
1. Fish & Chips (Fresh Cod from Boston).
2. Guinness Stew (Guy Fieri's favorite).
3. Dingle Fish Pie (another Guy favorite. Recipe).
5. What can you recommend for someone looking for something a little different?
Pub Trivia every Wednesday and Thursday.
Live music every Friday and Saturday.
Live Irish music every Sunday at 6:30pm.
6. What's the most popular dish?
Paddy's Bread Pudding (dessert) and Reuben Egg Rolls.
7. What's your favorite dish?
Shepherds Pie topped with cheddar cheese - perfect with a cold pint of Harp!
8. Where do you get your recipes?
Our mum, Kitty Culhane, and from us tasting food from our culinary team of chefs.
9. Can you tell us a little about your background?
I moved to St. Paul, MN 17 years ago to find a new life and worked in the financial business up until 2007. We opened up Culhane's in 2005 so us four sisters could work and live close together.
10. What made you transition from working in financial services to opening a restaurant?
Freedom of working my own hours and spending more time with my 4 year old son, family, and of course my partners/sisters. The mortgage industry was slowing down, and I wanted a change of career. My passion is marketing and I love marketing Culhane's Irish Pub. Our story is unique and we are living the American Dream!
11. How did you decide on the Jacksonville area for your restaurant?
We researched demographics and targeted a more mature audience. Atlantic Beach was ideal because it didn't have an Irish Restaurant in the area. My sisters and I love Irish Traditional music, great food, and craic (fun). Jacksonville was lacking an Authentic Irish Pub and we saw a huge VOID here. Our goals and dreams are to be the BEST Irish Pub in America and to grow Culhane's Irish Pub. We must keep the Irish traditions alive. We also fell in love with Atlantic Beach's community feel - similar to home. Our grandparents lived in Beale Strand, Ballybunion, County Kerry similar to Atlantic Beach. We are a neighborhood pub that enjoys mingling with the locals and supporting local community events. Every town needs a local family Cheers pub like Culhane's Irish Pub.
12. You had Guy Fieri from Diners, Drive-ins and Dives visit Culhane's. Can you tell us about that experience?
It was fantastic. Business has doubled. Guy brought national fame to Culhane's Irish Pub. We have re-aired numerous times with over 50,000 hits on our YouTube episode. The gift keeps on giving. Guy is a lot of fun.
13. Anything else you'd like to add?
We are passionate & believe in Quality and Team players. We treat our staff like family and want our guests to feel like they are at home, relaxed, and well tended!