O'Kelly's Olde Irish Pub
301 Chatham Way

O'Kelly's is a classic Irish pub as designed and operated by profoundly kitsch-obsessed Americans who might have seen Ireland mentioned in passing in a travel magazine once. The sign features a full-blown riot of garish neon shamrocks, pots of gold and shining white lettering, and the windows are likewise decorated with shamrock borders, with cute cartoon leprechauns at the corners bearing cauldrons full of gold and wearing four-leaf clovers in their lapels.

The inside of the bar is even worse. To be fair, the walls, stools, bar and booths are passable imitations of fixtures found in more authentic Irish-American pubs, but the effect is marred by the presence of kitschy paintings of frolicking leprechauns, howling banshees and other stereotypical hallmarks of pseudo-Irish folklore. The bartenders wear green vests and bowler caps with four-leaf clovers tucked in the band and fake red curls spilling out from underneath; the barmaids and waitresses are forced to wear plaid skirts, white ringer t-shirts with green accents and the ubiquitous O'Kelly leprechaun printed on the front and, most embarrassingly, long wigs with a profusion of tight, flaming orange-red curls.

All things considered, O'Kelly's is the nightmarish end result of pseudo-Irish chic. The owners' idea of a good import is Guinness, and their idea of traditional Celtic music involves aggressively cheerful techno crap that might have been inspired by something that was once inspired by something that might have been Celtic in origin. Most genuinely Irish folk, or Irish-Americans with some sense of their heritage, find the bar completely repugnant, but for all of that, the beer is cheap and the staff don't do a whole lot of carding, so the place stays in business year in and year out.

On the other hand, each month sees at least a few mysterious accidents and strange happenings that hit awfully close to the actual traditional Irish conception of the Good Folk. Anyone who believed in them would know better than to mock them the way O'Kelly's does, but the owners really don't seem to care -- which could lead to a whole lot of trouble down the road.