For Kevin McGarvey, heritage is part of daily life. The owner of the Wee Pub, an Irish-themed bar and grill, is very proud of his background and enjoys sharing his trips back to his ancestral homeland.
“We are from Donegal County ... it’s in the north of Ireland,” McGarvey said. “I’ve been there several times.”
But when he’s not walking the emerald isle, he enjoys sharing a bit of the old country with patrons at his three Wee Pub locations — Brunswick, Jekyll Island and St. Marys. And their biggest day of the year is on the horizon — St. Patrick’s Day.
“It’s our Christmas, July Fourth and New Year all rolled into one. It’s our biggest day of the year,” he said. “We started decorating at the beginning of the month. It’s put everyone in a good mood. They love seeing all the green come out.”
They will kick things off early — the beginning of the week and continuing through Sunday. The crew will be serving the restaurant’s popular Irish dishes like bangers and mash as well as corn beef and cabbage. That lays the foundation in the belly for some Irish spirits.
“Irish food is very hearty ... lots of meat and potatoes. It’s colder there so during the winter everyone goes to the pub for a few pints and some food,” McGarvey noted. “We will be serving the bangers and mash and corned beef and cabbage at all of our meals.”
Another Irish delicacy that can’t be forgotten is bread pudding. A time-honored dessert, it’s a patron go-to at the pub for those looking to indulge their sweet tooth. The same is true for those looking for a sweet drink. Their signature — and green — St. Patrick’s Day favorite is Wee Pub punch ... which features coconut and spiced rum, melon liqueur, pineapple juice, blue curaçao and sweet and sour.
The restaurant will also be serving up its fair share of the traditional favorite Irish beer, Guinness.
“We will be having a lot of games on Saturday during our big blow out. One of them is a Guiness drinking contest for the ladies,” McGarvey said. “We will also be doing raffles for trips to Las Vegas and Cancun. You come in and get a ticket and the band will announce the winner later. And we will have other smaller prizes too.”
The WharfRatz will play at the Brunswick location. But all of the pubs will get in on the fun.
“We will have green beer and be serving our Irish food at all the locations on Jekyll and in St. Marys. It’s going to be a big week ... everyone loves coming out and having a good time. After this, we take a little time off,” he said with a laugh.
Wee Pub Bread Pudding
(Yields one hotel pan)
• 4 cups of sugar
• 10 large beaten eggs
• 1 quart of half and half
• 4 teaspoons of vanilla extract
• 2 loves Texas toast cubed, allow to stale for at least six hours
• 1 stick soft butter
• 2 cups of chopped pecans
For the sauce
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1/2 cup of butter, melted
• 1 egg beaten
• 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease the inside of a hotel pan
• Mix together granulated sugar, eggs, and half and half in a bowl, add vanilla
• Pour over cubed bread and let sit for 10 minutes
• In another bowl, mix and crumble together brown sugar, butter and pecans
• Pour bread mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over the top and bake for 25-35 minutes
Mix together the granulated sugar, butter, egg and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir together until sugar is melted. Allow to cool and top the pudding.