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Posted on Thu, Dec 9, 2010 : 5:25 a.m.

Conor O'Neill's: a pub worth visiting for the food alone

By Julie Halpert


Conor O'Neill's is one of those places that makes dining out a far more pleasant experience, since it offers a wide variety of meals to satisfy my sometimes persnickety family. On previous visits, I stayed away from the Irish favorites, instead preferring the lighter main course salads and appetizers. But on a recent visit I sampled some of the native food.

Conor O'Neill's, which has been around since 1998, is a happy place. Part of the reason could be the libations. Many customers come here to partake in the 19 varieties of draft beers. The ambience, with its rustic wood floors and tables and walls filled with memorabilia, like antique corkscrews, is warm and welcoming and has the feel of the type of authentic pub you would encounter in England or Ireland.

But there is so much more than drinks here. The restaurant offers everything from appetizers to soups, salads, more than a dozen sandwiches and "Irish Fayre," all priced reasonably and delivered in large portions. There's also an extensive kids menu.

Even though I planned to order a heavy Irish dish, I was not going to forgo the appetizers, always a favorite. I really liked the honey mustard sauce that came with the rather ordinary chicken tenders. The Dublin brie was a standout, served warm and slightly melted and deep fried in beer batter. The peach chutney sauce was a refreshingly sweet accompaniment.

Many of the dishes are heavy. You rarely leave here without feeling very full. Even the more healthful items are rich, like the Caesar salad, which was heavily adorned with a delicious dressing, and the Chicken Florentine soup with spinach, in a broth so thick and creamy it was more like a stew. Aside from some processed-tasting chicken pieces, this was wonderful.


Then it was on to the even heartier entrees. The half pound hamburger was ample and well seasoned on a fresh sesame bun.

The best part of our meal were the Irish entrees. Kate's Shepherd's pie was gigantic, a heavenly combination of lamb and beef in an Ale Gravy, with vegetables, and topped with mashed potatoes. This, while not for the calorie conscious, was the ideal sort of comfort food to indulge in on a blustery night. I also enjoyed the Irish Boxty, a potato pancake. This had a more healthful taste then the more greasy potato pancakes I'm used to, stuffed with vegetables and served with pesto mayo. It was a fantastic melding of flavorings.


Conor O'Neill's
318 S. Main St.
Conor O'Neill's in restaurant guide

  • Hours: 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m. every day.
  • Plastic: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club.
  • Liquor: Full bar.
  • Prices: Inexpensive. Sandwiches are in the $7 range, while the Irish entrees are in the $10 range.
  • Value: Excellent. Portions are huge.
  • Noise level: Loud.
  • Wheelchair access: Yes.

The only shortcoming we encountered was the Salmon filet. The oatmeal crust didn't work well, and the fish didn't taste fresh, though I thought the side of mashed potatoes was great.

Though we were bursting at the seams, I had to sample dessert. I nixed my daughter's persistent request for the chocolate chip cookie supreme, an all-time dessert highlight here, so I could try other sweet treats. The server said the bread pudding won Taste of Ann Arbor, and I can see why. The giant piece had cinnamon and nutmeg seasonings that made it closely resemble apple pie. And it was topped off with a caramel sauce and whipped cream. Need I say more? The black tie cake had a crust the texture of sand and didn't measure up.

We had a delightful server who routinely checked in on us and delivered our food in a reasonable amount of time. Conor O'Neill's continues to deliver in providing a perfect watering hole, as well as a great place for family dining.

Julie Halpert reviews restaurants for



Wed, Dec 22, 2010 : 1:39 p.m.

Go for the beer. Tolerate the heavy, greasy bar food.


Fri, Dec 10, 2010 : 3:36 p.m.

Love, love, love mi bi-annual ventures to the caucasian theme park


Thu, Dec 9, 2010 : 11:46 a.m.

I disagree with citrus since my wife and I eat frequently at Connor's and have never recognized any offensive smells, especially urine. The bathrooms are clean and scent-free as well. Citrus must be confusing Connor's with another eatery or is employed with a competitor. I disagree also with DFSmith. The Fish and Chips which have been served to me included three good-sized pieces of fish, lightly crusted, juicy and flavorful. Often I share one of the pieces with my wife. I should call your attention to the salmon and shrimp cakes on the appetizer menu since they are sizable and nicely seasoned. My wife takes one of the two cakes home with her. If she orders the shrimp and crab cakes as an entree then she shares the third cake with me. My favorites are the Vale Salad and the Ploughman Sandwich. The honey mustard salad dressing is unique and tastey. During warmer months we enjoy eating at a side walk table out front where we can enjoy the sun and watch Main Street. Connor's and the Sidetrack Restaurant in Depot Town are our favorite eating spots. The latter has outstanding outdoor veranda seating when the weather is nice. And at the latter place, with proper timing, you can see an Amtrak train pass by not fifty feet away!


Thu, Dec 9, 2010 : 11:12 a.m.

The Boxty is certainly tasty and the place is fun. The space really smells, though. Sour beer urinal smell. In the summer it even reeks out onto the sidewalk. I can't figure it out. Grizzly Peak and Arbor Brewing make, sell, and presumably even spill beer without the smell. Why is it so stinky there?


Thu, Dec 9, 2010 : 8:51 a.m.

Great food, but the portions of dishes like Fish-n-Chips are way too small for the price.


Thu, Dec 9, 2010 : 7:40 a.m.

Though I don't drink, I love Conor O'Neill's! They have the best potato skins, served with Guinness honey mustard sauce. And the fish and chips is just great. For dessert, I love having the Guinness sundae. Yum!