This Irish pub’s claim to fame is that everything is $5 or less.
There are not many bars left that will allow you to walk in with a $10 bill and leave with change. At Mulligan’s Bar and Grill in Biddeford, $10 could buy you a beer, an appetizer and a round of pool.
Owner and operator George Sharkey decided to cut prices when he moved Mulligan’s to Biddeford more than 15 years ago. There’s even the answer to “how can you offer these meals at these prices?” on the menu. In short, Mulligan’s buys in large volume and works with vendors to get better prices. It’s so cheap, two of Mulligan’s regulars sold their home stove and have been eating dinner at the pub every night for the past five years.
Mulligan’s occupies the first floor of one of Biddeford’s old mills, just a short walk from Main Street. If you’re not familiar with the area, Mulligan’s – or “Mullie’s,” as the locals call it – can be hard to spot. Look for red bricks, a green awning and lots of cars parked out front. Chances are, you’ve found Biddeford’s classic Irish pub.
Friday night is their busiest – sometimes there’s a wait at the bar – but every other night a steady but diverse crowd rolls through. The wrap-around bar is center-stage of the pub with three TVs, and to the left are four pool tables (free for paying customers), an ATM and coin-operated candy dispensers. To the right is a dining room that’s so big it could host half the town.
Combined, there are more than 50 beers available on tap or in bottles. This isn’t the place to find the latest in craft brewing, but expect to find your standard crowd pleasers. The same is true for the wine offerings.
The menu doesn’t list any specialty cocktails, but bartender Tim Roberge, a 10-year Mulligan’s veteran, is confident he can whip up almost anything. He’s a favorite among the pub’s regulars and it isn’t hard to see why. He’s fast, friendly and easy-going. It’s important to note that if a game’s not playing, Roberge sets the TVs to “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy.”
Locals frequent Mulligan’s for the friendly atmosphere and reliably cheap menu. Specials like the “prime rib all day and night for $4.99” and the daily lunch specials for $2.50 are good gimmicks and certainly draw a crowd, but the biggest draw of all is the family-like wait staff and the familiar faces that walk through the door.
Claire Jeffers is a Portland freelance writer.