Murrieta has just been infused with a shot of Irish culture with the opening of The Shamrock Irish Pub and Eatery in late Dec.
It all started when a 17-year-old Dublin lad had dreams of opening a traditional Irish pub in America many years ago.
Shortly after having that vision Graham Judge began working for a travel agency and the globe trotter crossed paths with his Shamrock partner Paul Little.
The two became fast friends and then drifted apart after work placed the cohorts in different countries.
During that time, Judge opened a Shamrock Irish Pub and Eatery in Costa Blanca, Spain and over the years he perfected the business model for operating a successful restaurant.
“That location has been going strong for 18 years,” Graham said.
Enter social media. Paul and Graham reconnected on Facebook a few years ago and got together when Judge’s family took a vacation to California.
“Neither of us had met each other’s wives or kids and when we reunited it was as if no time had passed,” Judge said with a beaming smile.
Soon the pair began hatching a plan to bring their dreams to fruition and threw themselves into making The Shamrock Irish Pub and Eatery a reality in Murrieta.
“Paul did the footwork here while I was tying up loose ends back home and planning my family’s move to America,” Graham explained. “We just arrived here on November 28 of 2012 and we love it here.”
Their goal was to create a down home and ultra-traditional Irish pub where people could feel a sense of community while enjoying Irish fare, music, sporting events and libations.
“We want people to feel like they are part of our family when they visit our establishment,” Judge explained. “We want to be on a first name basis with everyone who comes to our little slice of Ireland.”
The menu features familiar Irish plates such as the wildly popular beer battered fish and chips, shepherds pie and beef stew to name a few. The full bar is rounded out with many Irish beers on tap.
Judges wife perfected the shepherds pie recipe over the years and according to Graham, it is divine and a crowd favorite.
“I had the fish and chips and it was absolutely delicious,” diner Steve Banta said. “I washed it down with a perfectly poured black and tan.”
Adding to the traditional vibe, Irish dancers perform every Sunday from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m., Irish bands play lilting tunes and the staff is jovial and bubbly.
“We searched out some of the best Irish bands in the Southern California region,” Graham said. “The dancers are a real treat to see and experience.”
Since opening on Dec. 21, business has been steadily increasing as word spreads of the new eatery and watering hole. They have had an explosive response on Facebook netting over 1,000 ‘likes’ on their fan page within the first few days of opening shop.
“We are not just here for a couple of weeks, we are here for the long run,” Judge added.
The Shamrock Irish Pub and Eatery is located at 32952 Winchester Road Suite 145 in Murrieta.
To Learn more visit their website at www.theshamrockirishpubandeatery.com.
Stephanie D. Schulte is a writer/photographer with SWRNN. She can be reached at email@example.com.