KELLY D’S ORIGINAL IRISH PUB

Food: () Hearty pub fare features nightly specials and Irish stews

Service: () Prompt, friendly and efficient, with staffing increased during busy hours

Atmosphere: () Dark, windowless room is a shrine to Yankee greats and other sports legends

More Info

Location: 1012 SE Cleveland Square Loop, Bend (½ block east of Third Street on Cleveland Avenue)

Hours: 10 a.m. to close Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to close Saturday and Sunday

Cuisine: Pub fare

Price range: Salads $7.99 to $12.99, burgers and sandwiches $8.99 to $13.99, dinner entrees $7.99 to $20.99; weekend breakfast $5.99 to $11.99

Credit cards: American Express, Discover, Mastercard, Visa

Kids’ menu: No

Vegetarian and gluten-free menu: Salads

Alcoholic beverages: Fully licensed

Outdoor seating: No

Reservations: No

Contact: www.kellydssportsbar.com, 541-389-5625

For more area restaurant reviews, visit bendbulletin.com/restaurants

A long time ago, the building that is home to Kelly D’s Irish Sports Bar was a theater. And that’s no blarney.

But nearly 10 years have passed since Kelly Davidson established this nearly windowless watering hole in southeast Bend. The performances are not cinema, but rather sports television, karaoke nights and frequent live music.

The food’s not bad, either. Think of it as hearty pub fare.

The Reuben sandwich is one of the best in Central Oregon. You’ll need both hands to eat this one, although you may decide (as I did) that a fork and knife are more suited to the task. Two oversized slices of marbled rye, buttered and grilled, are layered an inch and a half thick with fresh corned beef, sweet sauerkraut and a tangy Russian dressing. Swiss cheese, melted on top, oozes between the slices.

If you can eat the whole thing in one sitting, your appetite is greater than mine.

Nightly specials

Kelly D’s offers numerous nightly specials. On Tuesdays, for instance, corned beef and cabbage is $10.99. Fridays feature prime rib, Saturdays rib-eye steak, both for $19.99, including baked potato, salad and garlic bread.

On a Sunday night, I invested in the fried chicken dinner, a bargain at just $8.95. The crispy, deep-fried buttermilk batter locked the moisture into a leg, thigh and breast. Generous portions of mashed potatoes and kernel corn were a worthy complement, but I focused my attention on the delicious poultry, accompanied by a pint of Pilsner.

I thought about ordering a burger during a separate midday visit, but instead, I opted for the Paddy Melt, this Irish bar’s answer to the original patty melt. I wasn’t disappointed. Indeed, I should have settled for the single ($11.99) instead of the oversized double ($13.99).

If I thought the Reuben was enormous, I was astounded by the Paddy Melt. There must have been a full pound of ground beef in this sandwich, along with caramelized onions, melted Swiss, house-made Thousand Island dressing and a side of fries. I saved my cholesterol level too much damage by taking half of it home for lunch the following day.

Easy to be green

First-time visitors may be a little disoriented in seeking out Kelly D’s. The nondescript structure is a half block east of SE Third Street on Cleveland Avenue, more or less opposite Chan’s Chinese Restaurant but separated by a large empty lot. A bakery and barber shop share the building, known as Cleveland Square. Discreet entrances welcome new arrivals on the north and south sides of the lounge.

It’s not hard to identify Kelly D’s as an Irish sports bar once you’ve entered. Kelly-green walls are covered with all manner of sports memorabilia — autographed photos, multisport jerseys, golf-course panoramas (more green, of course). In particular, there are lots of vintage memories of the circa-1960 New York Yankees: Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Roger Maris and their baseball teammates.

Green may be identified with University of Oregon sports in this state, but equal billing is afforded the orange and black of Oregon State University. And a half-dozen flat-screen TVs are continuously tuned to live events and sports news.

A good-sized video room adjoins the main dining area, with poker machines and other gambling opportunities drawing regulars.

Efficient staff

The staff is prompt, friendly and efficient. During quieter hours, that may be only a bartender and a cook, with more business at the 12-seat bar than at the dozen-odd tables. Evenings and weekends, a couple of additional attendants boost table service.

The menu offers a variety of salads and soups, including a clam chowder every Friday.

On Tuesdays, a generous shrimp cocktail ($5.95) features a lavish amount of tiny bay shrimp, tossed with finely chopped celery and a mildly spicy cocktail sauce, scooped into a deep glass with an accompanying wedge of lemon. It’s one of my favorite dishes here.

Otherwise, the bill of fare is heavy on burgers (Kelly’s Clogger, $13.99, is topped with bacon, ham and a fried egg), Guinness-battered fish and chips ($12.99) and a variety of hot and cold sandwiches.

Of course, this is an Irish bar, so there must also be Irish cuisine. Irish tacos ($8.99) feature shredded cabbage and house corned beef with a tequila lime sauce. Irish stew ($10.99) has chunks of sirloin in a beefy Guinness broth with carrots, potatoes, onions and celery.

I might even believe I was in Dublin, if the decor was more geared to soccer and cricket.

— John Gottberg Anderson can be reached janderson@bendbulletin.com .

23645196