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You Gotta Eat: Kelleher’s Irish Pub & Eatery

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You Gotta Eat: Kelleher's

PEORIA (WEEK) — If you live in – and around Peoria, you’ve probably heard of Kelleher’s Irish Pub and Eatery along Peoria’s historic downtown riverfront.

It’s a hot spot for parties and special occasions.

But did you know that it’s also a great place to sit down and enjoy some great Irish food?

Christopher Johnson, a regular customer at Kelleher’s, said when you come in, “you’re going to be greeted with a smile.”

“You are going to sit down in a great place with awesome décor that feels warm,” he said. “Your belly is going to get full and I think you’ll leave satisfied.”

Johnson is one of many customers who visit Kelleher’s on the regular.

While he loves the American favorites on the menu, there are others like Bill Shaner who love the pot roast – slowly cooked with an Irish flair.

“It’s got Guinness, so that makes it good for the Irish side of me,” he said. “And it’s slow roasted and it’s just fall apart good overall.”

Pat Sullivan is the co-owner of Kelleher’s. He and his wife have been running this Irish pub since 2001.

He says the food here is authentic, with most of their recipes coming from Dublin, the Irish capital.

“We do everything that they do in Ireland and we try to keep it that way, but we still have food that if you don’t care for that type of food, we have the American style also,” he said.

Speaking of style, the décor in this place mimics an Irish pub, including pictures showcasing some of Ireland’s most beautiful landscapes.

I choose one of the most popular Irish dishes on the menu…the Shepard’s pie.

“We have Irish Fare which is Shepard’s Pie which a lot of people come down just for that because it’s very special,” Sullivan said.

Very special indeed…

Shepard’s Pie is slightly seasoned ground beef corn, peas, onions and carrots in a rich gravy topped with Irish champ potatoes.

I also ordered the Irish chips…which is thick cut fries smothered in creamy melted cheese with bacon bits and chives.

What can I say except delicious!

And it cost me $18.04.

“The next time you’re down by the River Front come to Kelleher’s because “You Gotta Eat.”

  • Location: 619 Southwest Water Street, Peoria, IL 61602
  • Hours: 11 a.m. – 12 a.m. Monday-Saturday. Closed Sunday 
  • Phone: (309) 673-6000
  • Website:



Jason Howell

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