Don Chow is a local foodie and one of the hosts of the wonderful local blog foodiePrints, a great space to read about food, drink, cooking, and eating in Canada’s capital.
Every Friday, a downtown Irish pub holds an event to celebrate the end of the work week. The pub is named after a father of confederation, who has the dubious distinction of being the only Canadian victim of political assassination at the federal level. The event is called Oyster Friday (@OysterFriday).
D’Arcy McGee’s, at the corner of Sparks and Elgin has been open 13 years, ostensibly under the same general manager, Jeff O’Reilly. Jeff goes by @pintinhand on Twitter.
The pub serves Guiness, Smithwick’s, Kilkenny, Harp, Creemore Spring, Alexander Keith’s, and Spaten on tap. Spaten happens to be exclusive to the Prime Pubs chain to which D’Arcy McGee’s belongs. What sets downtown’s D’Arcy McGee’s apart is the pub also serving local beers on tap, both Beau’s and Kichissippi.
Fridays, you will find the pub’s tables filled with people discussing current events, arguing politics, meeting friends, and sharing jokes. Both locals and downtown office workers boisterously chatter, with hearty laughter interspersed. At D’Arcy McGee’s everyone is welcome: the young professional, dressed down for Friday; political staff, still dressed in shirts and ties; and retirees, wanting to share a pint.
Happy hour starts at 4:00 pm (ending at 6:00 pm) with two Irish pints (Guinness, Smithwick’s, Kilkenny, and Harp) for $10. At 5:00 pm complimentary oysters are served on the basement floor until they run out.
Here is how one week’s Oyster Friday started:
Then, oysters, freshly purchased from The Sustainable Oyster & Fish Supply were brought in.
For the past seven years, Lindsay Sinclair has been shucking oysters for Oyster Friday.
If oysters don’t meet your fancy, D’Arcy McGee’s has a “tastefully Irish” menu, including a Guinness steak and mushroom boxty for platter $9.99 (potato pancake filled with beef and button mushrooms braised in Guinness), a chicken tikka boxty platter for $11.99 (potato pancake filled with chicken and onions simmered in a medium curry sauce), grilled breads from $10.99, steak frites for $22.99, and a “market” sandwich for $12.99 (peameal bacon, lettuce, tomato, breaded cheese on dark rye with red pepper mayo).
So, after a long week, you could do worse than gathering up some friends, doing a search for the #oysterfriday hash tag on Twitter, and dropping by D’Arcy McGee’s for a pint and some oysters. Trust me, it’s a lot of fun!
If you go for the oysters, go early. They move fast…
44 Sparks Street
Thanks for the awesome post Don! Heading out to Oyster Friday tonight? Tell us how it went!