The Irish are known story tellers, but this isno tall tale: the quickest way to becomea regular at Katie O'Donald's in Bluffton is towalk up on the patio, order a drink and introduceyourself around. Soon, patrons at theinformal eatery with the only blarney stone intown will become friends.
To those driving by, it looks like there'salways a party at Katie O'Donald's, where theoutdoor tables in front of the restaurant areusually full no matter the weather. The sameclassic tunes playing in the bar and diningroom are piped through speakers outside,and there are heaters for the winter and fansblowing in hot weather.
Regular customer Doug Hoover says hisfriends from Katie O'Donald's are also hiscamping buddies, house sitters when he's onvacation, and confidants.
"It's kind of like Cheers. We even haveChristmas together," he said, adding that thepub's patrons enjoy welcoming newcomers.
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Owner Donald Carroll named his pub afterhis son Donald and daughter Katie. Formerlythe owner of 12 eateries in New York, he sayshis formula for success in Bluffton is simple:
"I have fun at this store. We have goodfood, large portions and are comfortablypriced," he said, adding that Katie O'Donald'salso has "the coldest beer in town." Obviously,Guinness is a house favorite, but many otherdomestic and imported brews are available.
Carroll and Tom Schnaitman opened KatieO'Donald's in 1996â€"before the traffc light atMoss Creek, when U.S. 278 ended at S.C. 170and there weren't many places to eat or drinkin Bluffton. But the two friends were confidentthe town was on its way to booming,and they were right.
One of the restaurant's specialty dishesis corned beef and cabbage on Wednesdaynights. This traditional Irish dish is made bysimmering corned beef in a Dutch oven withred potatoes and cabbage. The fish and chipsat Katie O'Donalds are well known becausethe cod is rolled in a batter made with Guinnessbefore it's deep fried. Another popularmenu choice is the piled-high grilled Reubensandwichâ€"both the traditional thinly slicedcorned beef on rye with sauerkraut, Swisscheese and thousand island dressing, and aversion of this classic made with turkey. Andbe sure to check out the daily lunch specials.
Katie O'Donald's also offers a popularbreakfast brunch on Saturdays and Sundaysfrom 10 a.m. to 2 p.m, with excellent made from-scratch Bloody Marys for $3.