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Pat's Irish Pub brings the Notre Dame tailgate tradition to Granger

Patrick McCullough has roamed the blacktop and tailgating fields of Notre Dame since fourth grade, never once missing a pre-game football celebration.

Now in his early 40s, the master of Saturday ceremonies will move this season’s party north to his newly opened Granger sports bar and restaurant, Pat’s Irish Pub, 12634 Adams Road, Suite 7.

“It’s gonna be a big deal. It’s gonna change a lot of things out there (at his usual campus tailgating location),” McCullough said with a hint of bittersweet sentiment. “This is my lifetime dream, so I’m going to have to deal with a lot next year to make this happen.”

Pat’s Irish Pub
12634 Adams Road, #7

Hours: 2 p.m to 1 a.m. weekdays, 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. weekends

If McCullough’s opening weekend was any indication, the Notre Dame football fanatic shouldn’t have difficulty convincing his usual 400 to 500 friends in the field to pass through the pub on game days.

“All in all, for a first time ever owning a bar, there were over 1,500 people in three days that walked through that door,” McCullough said of his opening weekend that began Friday, April 17. “It was pretty successful.”

Fresh coats of paint, Notre Dame decor and fourteen flat-screen televisions have livened the walls of what used to be Overtime Sports Bar & Grill.

The small stage from the former restaurant remains and McCullough hopes to host live music multiple nights of each week. Renovations, including a kitchen overhaul, took just over a month prior to his first day in business. 

McCullough called upon those closest to him for help in hurrying the process along.

“Everybody from my best friends, my parents, my brother. I called in a lot of favors, you know, the karma thing,” McCullough said. “I had a good vision, but it turned out way better than I anticipated.”

The kitchen staff of P.J. Sanchez and David Scott has developed a menu of pub food mainstays including pizza, wings, hamburgers and spring rolls, in addition to Irish-inspired entrees like shepherd’s pie.

“The gentlemen that run the kitchen, even only being together two weeks here, they’re always thinking of something different and bringing something out to try. It’s not your typical bar food,” McCullough said.

Guinness, Shocktop, Blue Moon and other domestics currently flow from Pat’s 12-tap draft system. McCullough has stocked bottles of Evil Czech Brewery’s beer and plans to soon carry varieties from Bare Hands Brewery, located just down the road from the restaurant. 

Although the pub is only open to patrons 21 years and older, McCullough intends to extend his business into the adjacent storefront over the next two to three months. The proposed family dining area would increase his capacity by about 150 to 160 seats. 

McCullough, who works by day as a union ceramic tile layer, says food and drink specials will pop up at the pub “once we get our head above water.”

“I’m still working 40 hours a week. I’m not in this right now to make money. I’m in this to establish a business and keep people happy,” McCullough said. “I want someone to tell me personally or Facebook message me if you have a problem—let me know.”

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