Tuesday, March 9, 1999

Easy green

Posted on Tue, Mar 9, 1999 at 4:00 AM

At least once a year, on St. Patrick's Day, many Americans take to the streets in search of an Irish way to celebrate. There's no reason to settle for fake green beer at chain outlets when there are wee mom-and-pop pubs that can dish out the real deal, like Claddagh Cottage, on Curry Ford Road, of all places. Keep your eyes open as you drive east from Semoran Boulevard past the blur of shopping strips to spot the sliver storefront and shamrocked sign.

Inside Claddagh (pronounced KLA-dah) Cottage, it's like a scene from "The Quiet Man." Faded lace curtains hang in the windows, wooden beams crisscross on the ceiling. Dusty black-and-white photos of the old country fill the walls, and the whistles of Irish folk music fill the air. Instead of John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara, you'll find proprietors Jimmy and Kathy Mulvaney, formerly of Dublin and Limerick, respectively. They keep the ale flowing, fortified by traditional Irish stick-to-your-ribs meat-and-potatoes fare.

Jimmy Mulvaney claims to serve the best pint of Guinness in town, using a "double-pour" method that's been approved by the brewery: He fills the glass three-fourths of the way, then allows time for settling before topping off with a smooth, creamy head ($3.50). He refined his art at Mulvaney's Irish Pub on Church Street, which he co-founded with his brothers before branching off. The two pubs are different as night and day. Where Mulvaney's is a polished club that attracts a business crowd by day and barflies by night, Claddagh Cottage is a neighborhood draw, where the beer splatters on the wall only add to the character.

We visited on a Sunday, and some menu items weren't available, like "Cottage pie" ($5.25), a beefy stew crowned with mashed potatoes. So we started with a "country sausage roll" ($4.25). It was a glorified pig-in-a-blanket, but good, with two links of mild Irish pork sausage baked in puff pastry. We tried a steak and mushroom pastry pie, and another with chicken and mushrooms ($5.25 each). Both were filled with savory, meaty gravy inside buttery crusts. We also enjoyed a steamy "Dubliner" sandwich ($5.50), stuffed with shredded roast beef, sautéed onions and melted Swiss cheese.

Claddagh Cottage is laid-back, so don't expect speedy service or get in a twist if some items aren't available. Expect a friendly crowd that includes genuine Irish expatriates lined up at the bar, as well as others trying to soak in that world-famous Irish charm.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 27, 2020

View more issues


© 2020 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation