MCP’S IRISH PUB
TURNS 30 ON THE 30TH
CORONADO – Thirty years ago McP’s Irish Pub was a novelty. Today it’s a tenured and respected member of the restaurant community, home of the legendary Navy SEALs, and a place where celebrities and military heroes alike dine alongside locals in relative anonymity.
On July 30th McP’s Irish Pub celebrates its 30th anniversary. To honor this special occasion, McP’s will host an all-day happy hour, and give away commemorative T-Shirts with every purchase of $30 or more. Thanks to a special donation from the community, 120 pints of beer will be given away to all military customers that day - active or retired. Additionally, a special Mulligan stew/corned beef combination will be served throughout the day. Live entertainment begins at 8 p.m.
A visit to McP's Irish Pub is Coronado's version of kissing the Blarney Stone.
McP's celebrates 30 years this month. Photo by Joe Ditler
McP’s was the brainchild of former Navy SEAL Greg McPartlin. As a young man McPartlin was a member of SEAL Team 1, which did three deployments to Vietnam. “It was always my dream to create a restaurant where my SEAL Team friends would feel comfortable, and that the community would enjoy. We hope everyone will come down and say hello, and wish McP’s a happy birthday July 30th,” said McPartlin.
In 1982 McP’s opened its doors and Coronado wasn’t sure what to make of it. Waiters and waitresses dressed in green, the aroma of corned beef and cabbage filled the air, Mulligan Stew was served in a bread bowl (of all things) and Guinness Stout poured generously from the tap. To say that the tiny restaurant was an acquired taste would not be far off the mark.
Today McP’s is one of the most popular restaurants on the island, and one of the oldest. They’ve added outdoor patio dining, live entertainment, and have brought this corner of Coronado’s commercial district to life like never before. Prior to McP’s, the corner of Orange and C Avenues sported the Manhattan Room cocktail lounge and piano bar, and a gas station.
The corner of Orange and C Avenues was once home to the Richfield Station, one of five gas
stations on Coronado, and gas was less than a quarter/gallon. To the right of the photo was the old Manhattan Room, a celebrated, post-war piano bar. Today it's home to McP's Irish Pub and an
outdoor dining patio.this 1954 photo is courtesy of Rock Walton and the El Cordova Garage.
Greg McPartlin continues to be part of the restaurant’s day-to-day operations. Since publishing his book in 2005, “Combat Corpsman,” he has become as legendary as his fabled restaurant.
The book captures the inside story of a Navy SEAL medic, a man who wanted to heal, not to kill, but did both to save lives. It was recently optioned by Hollywood for consideration as a movie or made-for-TV special.
"Combat Corpsman" is a book by McP's owner Greg McPartlin,
and the story of his SEAL Team years as a Navy corpsman in
Vietnam. It has been optioned by Hollywood for a possible movie.
McP’s Irish Pub took on McPartlin’s flamboyant personality from the day it opened. In those early years just about everyone going through basic underwater demolition training at the nearby SEAL Compound made McP’s their off-duty home.
Today McP’s has matured into a wonderful family restaurant. The SEALs still drop by, but these days they do so in anonymity, often with their families.
After Bin Laden’s death, SEALS found themselves in the news for the first time. While that has given the elite fighting team more exposure than they would like, it has only helped the small restaurant known as McP’s, which remains the only location in Coronado paying tribute to this unusual and powerful unit of the US Navy. Not unlike a museum, the walls of the restaurant attest to what was once our country’s best-kept secret, SEAL Team valor.
Greg McPartlin, owner of McP's Irish Pub, during a tour of Vietnam as a
Navy SEAL Team combat corpsman. McPartlin is third from left.
Celebrities have gravitated to McP’s, finding it the ideal place to score a refreshingly good meal, a cold brew and do so without pressure from fans or paparazzi.
Among those who have visited McP’s over the years are Tiger Woods, actor Gary Sinise, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Harbaugh, Philip Rivers, Toby Keith, Sean Connery, Nicholas Cage, Rob Lowe and Army General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“Once Jimmy Buffett came in and sat at the bar,” said McPartlin. “He looked so crusty that the bartender made him pay cash after every drink until he realized who it was.”
More recently, Prince Harry of England’s Royal Family visited McP’s. At the time he was completing helicopter training at nearby El Centro. “We sat him at our VIP table,” said McPartlin, “where he could see all the action but stay out of the way, and our staff made sure autograph seekers and photographers didn’t bother him. That’s standard procedure for our management and staff, because we want McP’s to be a place they can get away from it all. They come in, we serve them like any other customer, and they love it.”
Due to the Old Town Trolley stop located just outside McP’s front door, the demographic of his customers is slightly skewed. “At present,” said McPartlin, “our business breaks down as about 40% tourists, 40% military, and the rest locals.”
Fish 'n Chips is a typical Irish staple of McP's Irish Pub. The fish breading has long been a topic of conversation with guests intent on figuring out what makes it so light and tasty-one of McP's little secrets.
Over the years McP’s has won numerous “Best Of” Awards – Best Bar Scene, Best Entertainment, Best Live Music, Friendliest Food Server (Tracy Taylor).
Live entertainment takes place every Tuesday-Saturday night featuring the best music on the island. Many successful bands from the region got their start at McP’s (Rockola, the Mar Dels, Stilettos, the Cat-illacs) and Joey Harris, formerly of the Beat Farmers, opens and closes the summer season.
Ron Wheeler of the ever-popular Ron's Garage Band, is one of many groups performing at McP's Irish Pub.
The menu at McP’s is filled with traditional as well as Irish fare. There are numerous offerings of juicy burgers and healthy salads, and even an Irish menu just for the kids. Happy Hour is 4-6 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). It includes half off select appetizers, and all house wines by the glass, discounted beer and cocktails. McP’s offers reduced-menu late night dining seven nights a week from 9-11 p.m.
Numerous flat screen televisions keep the sports crowd entertained. McP’s carries the NVL Sunday Ticket and Major League Baseball Extra Innings packages, which allow customers to watch all the action, all the time. The dog-friendly outdoor patio can serve up to 100 guests. The patio is shaded by large ficus trees and warmed at night by numerous fire pits and heaters.
McP’s Irish Pub is located at 1107 Orange Avenue, at the corner of C Avenue, in Coronado. For more information call (619) 435-5280 or visit their website at www.mcpspub.com.
Nachos may not be Irish, but they are a favorite at McP’s. The pub turns 30 on July 30th
and invites the public to come down and wish them a happy birthday, while enjoying
the many specials designed to celebrate the occasion that day.
THIS RELEASE PREPARED BY JOE DITLER
AND PART-TIME PR, SERVING ALL OF
CORONADO'S PUBLICITY NEEDS.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL (619) 435-0767
OR WRITE JOSEPHDITLER@SAN.RR.COM
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