Located in a renovated tavern that has been around since 1799, Feile Irish Restaurant and Pub embodies the feel of an old pub with many of the amenities so popular in modern bars.

Walking in the side entrance of Feile (pronounced “fay-leh,” meaning hospitality and generosity), you will note the huge fireplace in the dining room and bar off to the right, with its exposed beams and historic ambience.

Families and groups can sit and chat at any of the seven leather booths or multiple four-top tables, which were pushed together for a large group watching the Celtics on the large flat-screen television the night I visited. Above each booth is a handcrafted stained-glass window featuring the Irish and American flags, restaurant name, crests and brewery logos.

The wooden bar hugs the corner of the room, with its own smaller flat-screen TV and Irish posters hanging behind. With 15 barstools, it is substantial enough to meet a few friends, but quarters are a little tight. Track lights behind the barstools and a few iron ceiling fans and lights provide dim but not dark lighting.

The most popular mixed drink ordered at the bar is the Feile Fruit Punch ($7), which features a house-infused citrus rum, dark rum and various fruit juices. There’s an assortment of specialty martinis, cocktails and standard well drinks, and many feature their own Irish twist with splashes of Bailey’s, green creme de menthe or whiskey.

Speaking of whiskey, the pub carries a healthy stock of whiskeys and scotches ($6 to $10), including Jameson, Tullamore Dew, Knob Creek, Jack Daniels, Johnny Walker (red, black and blue labels) and Dewars.

For people looking to sip a glass of wine, there is a fair offering of red, white and sparkling ($4 to $8 a glass; $16 to $32 a bottle), mostly from California vineyards, although there are some Italian, Australian and Latin blends. Most notable, however, is the offering of Irish Family Vineyards wines. Boasting such flavors as Blarney White and Pog Mo Thoin (a saucy and spicy red), the family-owned California vineyard specializes in small batches and is available by the bottle only ($26 to $33).

Perhaps the best part of Feile’s pub menu is the huge beer selection. You might not realize this when first entering, and I suggest asking for a beer menu before ordering from the hip and experiencing drinker’s remorse afterward.

Or you can get a guided tour of the beers on tap from the bartender, such as the one I received from Jimmy Coromel. With 14 different drafts from which to choose ($3.50 to $7), the taps include the domestic favorite PBR, the English pub ale Boddington’s and the Irish staple Guinness. With summer fast approaching, I chose to take advantage of the selection and ordered Weihenstephaner Vitus, a 20-ounce Hefeweizen-style ale from the world’s oldest brewery, which started almost 1,000 years ago as the monastery brewery of the Benedictine monks in Bavaria.

Draft beer is not where the selection ends, though, and hidden under the bar and along the back wall are coolers filled with more than 50 bottled beers and ciders ($4 to $11). With breweries spanning the globe, you can go local and domestic (Allagash, Shipyard, Sierra Nevada or Rogue), head over to the European flavors (Murphy’s, Stella Artois, Hoegaarden or Magner’s) or go completely international, like the Lion Brewery in Sri Lanka.

As a traditional pub, there is no shortage of appetizers and quick meals at Feile. Many have their own Irish twist on old classics, such as the nachos O’Houlihan ($9), a heaping plate of hand-cut potato chips covered with rosemary beef gravy, cheese and thick-cut bacon. The happy hour, offered daily from 3 to 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. to close, includes $5 potato skins and drink specials such as $3 well drinks and $1-off drafts.

Feile also has quite the entertainment schedule, with Trivia Thursdays, karaoke on Fridays and local music Saturdays.

If you are looking for a vast selection of beers in the southern part of the state or a drink with an Irish twist in a historic tavern setting, check out Feile Irish Restaurant and Pub.

Elisa Doucette is a freelance writer who lives in Portland.


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