Pouring the perfect pint with Irish flare


    With years of bartending experience, Patrick O’Brien walked into St. Stephen’s Green Publick House in Spring Lake Heights 10 years ago and has since become a prominent presence behind the bar. 


    O’Brien began his career in bartending at the ripe age of 18 years, and landing at St. Stephen’s has proven to be the perfect place to stay.

    “Actually I came here 10 years ago,” shared O’Brien. “I had worked at Harrigan’s for a number of years and I matriculated down the street and these guys were great and we just got along and I had a good rapport with them.

    “And they’re really easy to work for and it makes it pretty easy to stick around.”

    He also finds the commute to be unbeatable and thoroughly enjoys the community, seeing as he resides right down the street in Spring Lake.

    O’Brien shares other noteworthy distinctions of working at St. Stephen’s, including the establishment’s dedication to Irish authenticity.

    “Here the Durkins [owners] and Jeremy [manager] take a lot of pride in being very authentic,” he said. “There’s a lot of Irish bars in the ‘Irish Riviera’ that have mozzarella sticks and jalapeno poppers on the menu.

    “Here you won’t find any of that. We might fight for it at times because we get tired of the Irish fare, however it is very authentic and Dave tries to be on top of the newest Irish fads if you will.”


    Stop into St. Stephen’s Green Publick House, 2031 Highway 71, Spring Lake Heights, during the day and you will most likely be greeted by O’Brien’s friendly face, warm welcome and a joke or two.

    O’Brien shared without hesitation that his favorite part about bartending is the people.

    “You know I’m not much for banging nails, but when it comes to dealing with people everyday you get a sense of accomplishment there that you actually made a very small difference, but you could have made someone’s day or ruined it, but at least I can play God just a little bit,” he said.

    His favorite drink to mix and drink is quite simple and straightforward. “A shot of Tullamore Dew,” said O’Brien with a laugh.

    “I’m a beer and a shot kind of bartender ideally,” he shared. “A Guinness and a Tullamore Dew would be my chosen meal here.”

    O’Brien will try his hardest to pour you the perfect pint of Guinness and, according to him, the perfect pint of Guinness is the next pint of Guinness.

    In addition to drinks, O’Brien serves up brunch on the weekends as St. Stephen’s offers a brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays. Spend happy hour with him during the week from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Stop in to catch O’Brien in action and grab a drink because as he shares, “You can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning.”