Barrett’s Barleycorn Pub & Grill

Where: 4322 Leavenworth St.

When: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sundays

and 402-554-5805

* * *

I’ll admit it. I was skeptical.

I’d heard good things about Barrett’s Barleycorn Pub & Grill, but when I pulled up to the unassuming-looking bar on Leavenworth Street, I didn’t initially see what all the fuss was about.

From the outside, Barrett’s looks small. Aside from the cute, vintage-inspired mural on the side of the building and the Barrett’s Blarney Stone in cement by the front door, Barrett’s looks much like any bar you’d see on a small-town Main Street.

Inside, though, things are different. Inside, Barrett’s is deceptively large.

Sure, the upstairs drinking and dining area is on the small side, but downstairs in the wood-paneled party room, there is plenty of space to make yourself at home.

The night we visited (which also happened to be a Creighton basketball game night), both upstairs and downstairs were packed. Upstairs, the tables were full and the large bar was lined shoulder-to-shoulder with patrons. Downstairs, in the party room, it was much of the same as groups of family and friends snacked on typical bar food fare and caught some games on the large televisions.

On this night, Barrett’s was on the loud side — in a good way. There was no loud music. There was no one calling out to get the attention of the bartenders or waitresses. There was just the constant background noise of people laughing and enjoying one another’s company.

The atmosphere just seemed cozy, homey even. When we walked in, we felt like we’d wandered into some party already in progress, but it was OK because we were welcome to grab a beer and join in, too.

Speaking of beer, Barrett’s has all the standard domestic brews along with Fat Tire, Boulevard Wheat, Sierra Nevada and a few Deschutes Brewery options. Deschutes Fresh Squeezed India Pale Ale and Black Butte Porter are always solid choices.

Since this is an Irish bar, it also has the Irish classics: Guinness, Harp and Smithwick’s and a smattering of other European brews.

On tap or in the bottle, all the beers are $5 or under.

Barrett’s food menu is also reasonably priced. There are salads, sandwiches, burgers, fish and more, almost all for under $10. There’s also a seriously stacked appetizer menu. We tried the Barrett’s Irish Nachos, which are all of the fixings of loaded nachos layered on crispy, delicious french fries instead of tortilla chips. If there is one thing in the world that can make nachos better, it is combining them with french fries. I’m so glad Barrett’s did.

So basically, the food is good, the place is cozy and the beer is cheap. That could explain why I’d heard so many good things about Barrett’s. But if I stopped there, I’d be remiss because I’d be leaving out one of Barrett’s main attractions — the sand volleyball court.

Once the weather warms up, Barrett’s has co-ed sand volleyball leagues. Or, if you’re not into competition, you can always just start a pick-up game with your friends.

For now though, stay inside Barrett’s, where it’s nice and cozy and you can have a beer and a laugh with friends.

Plus you should really have those Irish Nachos. Nachos and french fries — what more could you want?

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.