Walking into Tommy Doyle’s has a two-fold effect on any customer.
The quaint Irish pub’s atmosphere transports patrons from Newton’s Watertown Street to the cobblestone roads of Dublin. But at the same time, the restaurant’s American flair ties customers to the Greater Boston area’s roots.
“[The atmosphere is] excellent,” Newton resident Susan Delicata said. “Very good. Good people. It’s just a nice place to come and meet people.”
On one chilly April evening, David Bowie’s “Heroes” warmly greeted customers with ambiance straight out of the British Isles.
Irish relics, vintage alcohol ads, and pictures of Irish cottages with thatched roofs blanket the walls. Guinness and Jameson signs surround customers from any seat in the pub. From pitchforks on the ceiling to ceramic beer steins to a black-and-white portrait of James Joyce, Tommy Doyle’s tucks a piece of Ireland into Newton.
Whether you’re a young professional just off your 9 to 5 or part of an older married couple returning to your favorite date-night spot, Tommy Doyle’s welcomes all kinds of customers.
The pub is split into two halves—a bar and an eating area—offering a different space for those who just want a refreshing drink and for those who want a bite to eat as well.
Delicata said she and her husband, Dennis Delicata, have frequented Tommy Doyle’s for several years. The restaurant’s food and atmosphere are what continue to make them loyal returners, Dennis Delicata said.
“The atmosphere, the food, great people … [make it] a great spot,” he said.
The restaurant’s welcoming feel isn’t limited to the atmosphere—it’s included in its menu. From traditional Irish dishes like shepherd’s pie to classic American burgers to Thai lettuce wraps, the menu caters to anyone’s taste.
The pub serves water in a Samuel Adams pitcher with pint glasses to match, allowing all customers—whether they’re old enough to drink alcohol or not—to partake in the traditional Irish pub experience.
The corned beef reuben sandwich perfectly combines the pub’s Irish heritage with the sandwich’s American origins. It stacks corned beef, sauerkraut, Thousand Island sauce, and Swiss cheese between two pieces of toasted marble rye bread.
Creating a perfect contrast between a crispy exterior and softer interior, the lightly toasted slices of bread tightly encapsulate the inner layers. The Thousand Island spread and melted cheese pair well with the salty shreds of corned beef and the bitter tang of sauerkraut. Though the sandwich packs in plenty of corned beef, the sauerkraut is the star of the show, providing a sharper flavor amid the more muted ingredients.
Dennis Delicata said his favorite item on the menu is the fish tacos, but he also likes the mac and cheese and burgers.
Susan Delicata said she does not have a favorite item—she likes everything on the menu.
Susan Delicata enjoyed a BLT with tater tots, while her husband went with his go-to fish tacos. For dessert, the couple shared apple crisp with vanilla ice cream. Both said their meals were excellent.
Tommy Doyle’s fuses its Irish decor with a typical American bar scene, including numerous TVs dispersed throughout both the bar and the eating area. It’s the ideal spot to watch sports games with a pint in hand.
As more people filled the bar around 7 p.m., the speakers shifted from playing classic rock in the background to blaring the Celtics’ first playoff game of the 2021–22 season. Customers sporting plaid paddy caps and Celtics hats had their eyes glued to the six TVs playing the game. The restaurant even played the game through crackly speakers outside, giving passersby and those sitting on the outdoor picnic benches a feel for the energy inside.
With more and more customers filling the establishment’s seats and greeting each other with every passing minute, the welcoming feel of Tommy Doyle’s proved itself. Dennis Delicata said the pub brings Newton together, as its warm atmosphere creates the perfect place to meet new people.
“I think they bring the community together,” he said. “[Newton] has a lot of history as far as Irish and Italian descent. It’s just a really good spot to meet [people]. And I think they bring that ambience. … They bring [the community] together.”
Tommy Doyle’s at 349 Watertown St. is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
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