Discover Bethesda, Maryland...365 Days a Year!

Day 74: RíRá Irish Pub – Where the Craic is Mighty!

RíRá Irish Pub

RíRá means a “divilment (mischievous), good fun or any sociable activity that improves with fine food” and that’s just what you will experience at RíRá Irish Pub located at 4931 Elm Street.  The Pub has what every good Irish Pub should  – the right atmosphere and friendly congeniality among patrons and guests.  Plus, they have a whole host of enjoyable entertainment and activities to give you a good belly laugh as well as an interesting thread of Irish history right here in Bethesda.

Trivia games are the rage these days and RíRá offers a lively game of Pub Quiz on Tuesdays beginning at 7:30 PM.  It’s good fun while you indulge in some good eats and drinks.  On Wednesdays they offer 1/2 price burgers.  After 10 PM on weekends, you can enjoy live musical entertainment.  This Thursday, they will feature La Unica Irish Band beginning at 5:30 PM.

RíRá is a community minded business, supporting and hosting many charities throughout the years including local food banks, organizations that support cancer victims and children’s charities among others.  Their latest charitable event is being held at 6:30 AM on March 17th – St. Patrick’s Day (yes, that’s AM not PM) with The 1st Annual Penguin Plunge benefiting NIH Charities.

The Penguin Plunge is a fundraising event wherein participants gather donations for taking the plunge into an ice-filled pool at the crack of dawn…if they dare!  The pool will be set up behind the RíRá restaurant in the parking lot of the Shoppes of Bethesda on Hampden Lane on Thursday morning.  If you want to participate you will need to contact Simon, a jovial, nice Irish man who happens to be the General Manager at RíRá, and get your pledge sheet.  You still have time.  You only need to collect $50 in donations in order to participate.

I am strongly encouraging Brian Maury to take the plunge!  But I need your help.  If you want to pledge for Brian to take the plunge, (SAY YES, oh please say yes so I can MAKE him GO!), just send us an e-mail or leave a comment here and we will be happy to mark you down with your donation.  I will post the video on Thursday if I can!  But if I miss it, they say it will be on the news anyway.

The Olympia Theater Bar from 1879

We learned about the Plunge on a recent visit to RíRá wherein Brian and I enjoyed chatting with Simon about the Pub and the rich history that is a part of its construction.  The actual bars inside (there are two) and the glass mirrors behind them were carefully packaged and shipped to Bethesda from old pubs in Ireland.  The bar that is situated to the right of the entry is called The Irish Shop Bar which was originally part of an Irish grocery shop that opened in the late 1800’s in the town of Shercock in County Cavan.  The large bar and its mirrors behind it that are in the main restaurant area of RíRá, were originally part of the Olympia Theater Bar built in 1879 across the street from Dublin Castle.  As you belly up to the bar, imagine whose elbows have been placed upon it over the years!  Oscar Wilde is apparently one of them.

The Irish Shop Bar of the late 1800's

The beautiful thing about a local Irish pub – be it in Bethesda or Dublin – is that it’s a comfortable, casual environment to meet up with friends, share a drink, some good hearty food and some laughs.  Prepare to be transported to Ireland when you visit RíRá.  Relax and stay a while.  My beer suggestion: Kilkenny!

Now don’t forget, please pledge a little something so I can motivate Brian to head out to RíRá Thursday morning for the Penguin Plunge to benefit the NIH charities.  And we hope you will stop in and enjoy RíRá any day or evening for some mighty good craic – just like they do in Ireland!     ~Amy

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