After a long wait in what felt like Prohibition for some, Blarney Stone is finally open.
Fans of Tanner’s, Larry Bud’s and the very short lived Cedar can now head to 2120 N Woodlawn and no longer find an empty building. Blarney Stone officially opened their doors on February 1st, 2016.
Open 7 days a week from 11 am – 2 am, my friends and I were there on opening day to check it out and get a first hand look at the newest sports bar in Wichita.
For those familiar with the previous establishments before Blarney Stone will walk in and find themselves a fresh new interior. Everything was gutted and redone from the inside out.
With brand new tables, a redone floor, new lighting and 21 bars lined up along the four walls of Blarney Stone, it has a new ambiance from what most had become acquainted to with some features that may look familiar. Roughly 27 tables are spread out along the front room along with a couch and fireplace setting in the corner of the bar. There’s also the familiar bar setting at the back of the room. As one friend aptly put it, “It was like someone put a dress and lipstick on Larry Bud’s.”
The menu is completely different with an Irish theme. My friends and I ordered quite a few things off of the menu:
Quite a few things stood out for us so we just ordered what sounded good at the time. For starters, we started with the fried pickles and the Irish Nachos. Both items took really no time at all to arrive to our table.
Fried pickles are fried pickles. There’s really not much else to say on those. The real winner were the Irish Nachos. It’s the first time most of us had ever had Nachos with corned beef on top. Nachos with ground beef can get pretty greasy. The Nachos with the corned beef was just amazing to us. I felt bad because I found myself picking away at the corned beef. We quickly finished the bowl of nachos in minutes. Those are certainly a must try on your first visit.
For dinner items, we ordered an array of different items to split and see what each other thought. The first two items came out in pretty good time.
For $7.99, the Shepherd’s Pie is a great value. The picture doesn’t do it justice on just how big the meal is. Between the four of us, we just tore it apart. A couple of my friends took care of the cheese topping for me as it’s not my thing but underneath that was some delicious goodness. The ground beef, peas, carrots, brown gravy and mashed potatoes was like a home cooked meal. Between that and the Irish Nachos we were completely satisfied.
The Irish Stew was a bit underwhelming. The steak pieces and veggies insides had some good flavor but the broth was a little too salty for our taste.
Our last item we ordered was a Meat Lovers pizza. This one took a long time to get out to us. According to our server, they dropped the pizza so we waited a little longer than usual for the pizza. When it did arrive, the crust was a little overdone but the meat and toppings on top were excellent. By comparison, it was one of the better pizzas we’ve had from an establishment that doesn’t specialize in pizzas like your typical pizza spots. Very good but at a $19.99 price point for a 16 inch pizza we felt other items on the menu were better values. It should be noted their 7 inch pizzas run $7-10.
Now how about the service? We have to keep in mind it was opening day so yo can’t judge a new restaurant based on the first impression you get on day number one. Our server was on the first day ever working as a server so there were some learning curves for her. She was open to us about it so we took it all in stride. Our drinks came out in a timely manner outside of maybe a couple drinks when Blarney’s started to get busy. I mean who doesn’t go to a bar doing Happy Hour?
Just observing other tables around it looked as if there were some people still learning and getting accustomed to everything. The true test will be whether their wait staff can get better over time.
The owners came around and spoke to random tables to check on them. They stopped by our table and we had a nice little chat with them. One of them even got us a nice little treat since there was a birthday at our table.
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Overall, it had a chill atmosphere. They had 90’s alternative music playing in the background that was at a real nice low volume to where you can hear it but didn’t bother you while chatting at your table. One friend compared the atmosphere to Dudley’s Bar out on the west side of town.
For those wondering about the poker room, that is closed down for now. The backroom is available for rent for private parties and events in the meantime.