We stopped by Donnybrook, the semi-new Irish pub on Clinton Street last weekend to try out their brand new brunch. The bar was opened a few months ago by the team behind Lucky Jack's on Orchard Street, Meghan and Diarmuid Joye and Declan Collins.
It's a small but well conceived and executed menu. An Irish breakfast, sausage, bacon, black pudding, scrambled eggs and beans. "Union Hall fish pie," cod and shrimp in a béchamel sauce with leeks and a cheddar crust. A ham, tomato and chedder pressed sandwich. And very fresh oysters on the half shell.
Meghan told us they planned to serve a more limited menu during the week — sandwiches and a few other items. Donnybrook features a beautiful, dark wood bar constructed by an Irish carpenter, no less. The long tables were made of salvaged wood from the Bronx Republican Club. There's also vintage wallpaper and lighting fixtures. Donnybrook is right in the heart of the Lower East Side bar scene, but Meghan says the place is meant to be a neighborhood hangout.
She and her partners worked at a few different East Village Irish bars, saved their pennies and opened Lucky Jack's four years ago. Meghan told us they're weathering the recession fairly well. While we were there last Sunday, people seemed to be discovering the new brunch spot – perhaps it was the smell of bacon wafting out the open windows.
Meghan also happens to be a member of Community Board 3, assigned to the committee that recommends to the State Liquor Authority which bars and restaurants should get licenses. Noting that she was not on the board when the Donnybrook license was considered, Meghan told us she thinks it's important to have someone on the committee with her perspective. She says it's important to her to balance community concerns about quality of life while supporting restaurants and bars trying to survive in the economic downturn.
Donnybrook's weekend brunch is offered from noon to 5. They're located at the corner of Clinton and Stanton.