Tag Archives: Barry’s Old School Irish

An open letter to Danny and Jessica Barry

29 Aug

Dear Danny and Jess,

I wanted to send you this heartfelt congratulations and thank you for your wonderful Irish Festival yesterday.

Jack and I got there right when the gates opened to catch the early entertainment and right away were very impressed by what we saw. There were food vendors, the beer truck (of course), plenty of tables to sit at or hay bales to perch on, and lots more room to set up your chairs and blankets.

The entertainment line-up was packed with many of the pub’s most popular entertainers, and the Irish dance schools were a special treat.

I LOVED the kids’ lemonade stand (and Mom’s homemade cookies) and kids’ activity area. I didn’t try them out for myself, but I was tempted by the lawn games (giant Jenga, cornhole, and I even saw some hurling and Kan Jam in the back). And the vendors! So many of them with some really neat stuff. We were especially pleased to be able to reconnect with and support our old Irish Import Shop friends. (And I got some Christmas shopping done!)

Seeing old friends like that was one of the best things about the day. Of course all of the Barry’s regulars were there, but so were members of the Rochester Irish community whom we hadn’t seen in forever.

This day drew the Irish community together like no other I’ve seen in years. It had the comfortable, welcoming feel of the original Rochester Irish Festival back in the 1990s, and is something our community has needed for a long time. That was easy to see by scanning the crowd. Green t-shirts, dresses and leggings were clearly the uniform of the day as festival attendees proudly put their Irish heritage on display.

By the way, I don’t know how you did it, but you dialed up some ideal weather. Earlier in the week the weatherdudes said there was a possibility of thunderstorms, but clearly Irish eyes were smiling on you. Sure, the heat was a little oppressive when you were sitting out in the sun (can you work on that next year?) but all you had to do was keep moving your hay bale or quad chair a little more to the east to stay in the shade.

Thank you also to all the volunteers who helped set up, man the parking lot in stifling heat, provided security, checked guests in, handled concessions and managed a hundred other tasks. As far as I could see, there was nary a glitch in the planning.

Basically — and I steal this thought from a friend — the Barry’s Old School Irish Festival pretty much was Barry’s West for a day. All of the friends, community, good food, good drink and good music we have come to expect from Barry’s were there, just like we find every week at the pub … just more spread out.

I know that was the vibe you were going for. So basically, you nailed it.

It’s no coincidence that as we turned off of 260 and followed the line of cars past the corn fields to your farm, the first thing I thought of was that scene from Field of Dreams. “If you build it, they will come.”

Well, you did, they did, and it was definitely a dream come true.

Well done, my friends. We’re already looking forward to next year’s festival, and hope to become more involved, with an eye perhaps to turning it into a two-day event?

Love, Missy


Here are a few photos from the wonderful day (taken from the Barry’s Old School Irish Facebook page). Visit the page to see more.

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Barry’s Irish Festival just a week away

22 Aug

It’s almost time to get your Irish on at the Barry’s Old School Irish Festival, coming up next Saturday.

Danny and Jessica Barry — owners of Barry’s Old School Irish in the Village of Webster and two of my favorit-est people ever — have been working for months with a dedicated team of volunteers, pulling together a thousand little details in preparation for this second-annual event (if you don’t count last Covid year).

Organizing an Irish Festival was a dream of theirs since Danny and Jess opened their little pub 10 years ago. Just before their first festival in 2019, Jess told me (and I’m sure the sentiment hasn’t changed):

This has been a goal/dream of ours … having a fun-filled day celebrating our proud Irish heritage. A day where families can bond, kids can learn about Irish culture in an interactive setting, where friends can gather, where everyone can come away with new friends and make great memories together.

“Our most important goal,” she added, “is to take the warmth and love of our little Irish Pub on 2 West Main Street and bring it to our farm/our home for the day.” 

Barry’s Old School Irish Festival 2021 is scheduled for Saturday Aug. 28 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., on the Barry family farm out in Hilton, 2668 Brick Schoolhouse Rd., which they call the “Barry Patch.” Highlights include arts and crafts vendors, food and beer trucks, and live music all day long.

True to its family-friendly nature, there will also be a great kids’ area, with farm animals, something which Jess is really looking forward to.

Click here  for lots more details, but on Saturday you can expect:

  • entertainment from Kevin Reynolds, Himself, Dave North, Everheart, Celtic Cross, 1916 and a live Irish jam session
  • dancers from the Jamieson School of Irish Dance and the Young School of Irish Dance
  • food trucks and ice cream
  • an Irish beer truck, bottled beers and wine
  • kids’ activities
  • lawn games
  • Irish whiskey samples
  • giveaways and other specials

Tickets are $17 in advance and $20 at the gate (children 15 and under are free). Presale tickets can be purchased at the pub, 2 West Main Street in the Village of Webster. You can also purchase tickets online here. (Use the promo code “pints” for a special discount!)

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Webster Volunteer Fire Dept. and the future Rochester Irish Community Center.

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News about pews from Barry’s Old School Irish

22 Apr
Jessica and Danny Barry standing by the new pews.

Our favorite Webster Irish pub has just become a lot more … Irish.

Tuesday afternoon, in about three hours’ time, Danny and Jessica Barry — and especially Jess’s mom Debbie — installed several new (or rather, old) actual church pews in Barry’s Old School Irish on Main St. in Webster.

They got the pews from the New Beginnings Christian Fellowship Church in Brockport. Danny told me they’ve been looking for pews for several years, and were thrilled to finally find some. As an added bonus, they came with green cushions already attached. They’ve been installed along the front window and back wall of the bakery side of the pub, and near the side door.

The inspiration to add pews, Danny said, came from a pub he and Jess visited on one of their trips to Ireland about eight years ago, only two years after opening their own pub.

“It was a great Irish Pub in Dingle, County Kerry, called Dick Mack’s,” Danny said.

This pub, which I believe was established back in the 1800’s, had the perfect combination of live Irish session music, a whiskey selection that showcased the entire Emerald Isle, and most importantly was filled with so many welcoming and smiling faces that you couldn’t help but feel at home.

(Sound anything like a little pub we have here in Webster?)

Danny and Jess in front of Dick Mack’s

The pews will increase the amount of seating at Barry’s, but more importantly, they help make Barry’s Old School Irish even more Irish, if that’s possible.

“(The pews) allow us to dig even deeper into our niche and showcase the love we all share for our Irish heritage which has been constant goal of ours since opening back in 2011,” Danny said.

Danny and Jess have several other goals this spring, including adding a fire pit on the patio, adding more kitchen equipment, updating their signage, looking for more ways to distribute their Vanilla Bean Irish Cream, resuming their live music, and planning for the 2nd annual Barry’s Irish Festival this summer.

It so happens that the first people in the pub Tuesday evening after the installation were several members of Barry’s Runners, who were gathering for their weekly run. As they were the first patrons to try out the new seating, I asked Barry’s Runner Charlene Sudore if they were comfortable.

“They’re pews. They’re not supposed to be comfortable,” she quipped. “They’re meant to keep you from falling asleep.”

True. But I think Barry’s patrons will find the new seats plenty comfortable, and I don’t expect there will be a whole lot of napping going on.

A final note from Danny:

We’re excited for all our new additions but as always it’s the people that fill these walls with love and laughter that are most important and make this place truly special. We can’t thank our community and our Pub Family enough for the support we’ve received these past 10 years and especially in the midst of the pandemic. It’s exciting to continue to grow here at Barry’s Old School Irish and can’t wait for all the great memories we’re sure to make together in the times ahead.

Several Barry’s Runners were the first to try out the new seating arrangement

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Traditional Irish evening of entertainment will include Barry’s this year

23 Mar

Every year, in commemoration the City of Rochester and County of Monroe’s proclamation of Irish American Heritage Month, several Rochester-area Irish cultural organizations come together to celebrate a traditional siamsa (shee-am-sah), or evening of Irish entertainment. In normal years, the event — which features a traditional Irish soda bread cooking demonstration, cultural music, dancing and historical stories — takes place at one location over a few hours.

This year, however, the annual event will be hosted in three different locations on Tuesday March 30, one of which will be the Village of Webster’s very own Barry’s Irish Pub.

Here’s the schedule:

  • 6 to 6:15 p.m., at Barry’s Old School Irish, 2 W. Main St., Webster: Soda Bread Making Demonstration. Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians member Sandy Foley will demonstrate how to make traditional Irish soda bread. Yes, there will be samples.
  • 6:15 to 6:45 p.m., at Johnny’s Irish Pub, 1382 Culver Rd., Rochester: Traditional Irish Music Session featuring Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann (Irish Musician Association). Several members of the music organization will play some traditional Irish music.
  • 6:45 to 7:15 p.m., at McGinnity’s Irish Pub, 534 W. Ridge Rd., Rochester: Historical Presentation by Irish American Cultural Institute member and author Deirdre McKiernan-Hetzler. Her talk will highlight significant women in Irish and American history and their influence in the world.
  • 7:15 to 7:30 p.m. at McGinnity’s: Irish Step Dance Demonstration by Rince Na Saor’s Kathleen Whitfield.

In-person attendance at each event will be available in accordance with current guidelines. But each will also be streamed live on Zoom. Up to 500 guests will be allowed to register for the Zoom meeting. This is the Zoom link.

The program is sponsored this year by the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, Irish American Cultural Institute, Rince Na Saor Irish dance, Barry’s Old School Irish Pub, Johnny’s Irish Pub, McGinnity’s Irish Pub, and the Monroe County Libraries.

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Barry’s Runners find fun way to stay connected

3 May

Shannon and Jess

Jessica Barry, right, owner of Barry’s Old School Irish, even joined in the relay. Here Shannon Tipper, left, hands off the next leg of the relay to Jess. (J. Barry)

This was a lot of fun.

Barry’s Runners, my running club that meets every Tuesday night at Barry’s Old School Irish in the village, recently found a great way to reconnect with fellow runners during the pandemic, while still maintaining social distancing: a 12-hour virtual relay.

The group normally meets at Barry’s Old School Irish every Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. for group runs or walks, followed by social time at the pub.

Thanks to the current pandemic, Barry’s has had to curtail its hours, and group activities like the weekly runs have been put on hold indefinitely.  The Barry’s Runners 12-hour Virtual Relay was a fun way for group members to stay connected — and motivated — during the crisis.

The event ran from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on what would have been a regular Tuesday running night, April 21. The day was split up into 24 half-hour slots. Participants asked to sign up for one or more of the spots, and during their allotted time get out and run, walk or even bike. As soon as one person’s half hour was complete, he or she texted the next person in line to begin the next leg of the relay.

After the event was posted on the Barry’s Runners Facebook page, it only took a few days for all 24 half-hour time slots to fill up. A handful of participants even took two adjacent spots, hitting the streets for an hour straight. By the end of the relay, 28 adults, plus a few kids and dogs participated, logging more than 70 miles.

The event even got a long-distance participant. Jill Belluco, a former Webster resident and Barry’s Runner, signed up for the first time slot even though she moved from Webster to South Carolina a few months ago. She said it was a great way to stay in touch with her old running buddies, while juggling the challenges of a new home and new job.

Several of the runners took photographs documenting their runs and posted them to the Barry’s Runner’s Facebook group, further enhancing the community experience.

The relay idea actually came from a similar event held earlier in the month by another running group, Rochester Running Club, who organized their own virtual running relay on Monday, April 13. Originally planned for the 24 hours spanning Sunday night through Monday night, that relay is still going on.

Chances are Barry’s Runners couldn’t manage to keep up a relay that long. But another 12-hour relay is definitely in the cards, cause everyone had so much fun.   

Lesley and Larry Johnson

Lesley and Larry Johnson completed a 6.5-mile leg with their running and walking buddy, Cullen.

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Barry’s Old School Irish gearing up for St. Patrick’s Day

4 Mar

barry's old school

Now that it’s finally March and Valentine’s Day is in the rear-view mirror, planning for St. Patrick’s Day here at our little corner Irish pub is in high gear. And of course, when Danny and Jessica Barry do the planning, the St. Patrick’s Day celebrating can no way be contained to just one day.

Starting Sunday March 8, Barry’s will host a series of events, one almost every day, building up to a full schedule of events on Parade Day and St. Patrick’s Day itself.

You can check the Barry’s Old School Irish Facebook page for more details, and I’ll post more soon, but here are some highlights:

  • Sunday March 8: Whiskey tasting from 2 to 4 p.m.  Cost is $20 per person and registration is required.
  • Tuesday March 10: Our weekly Barry’s Run/Walk,  and free etched pint glasses on the house, courtesy Guinness. 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday March 11: Trivia Night, beginning at 7:15 p.m. Gotta register for this one, too, since table space is limited.
  • Thursday March 12: Open Mic Night at 7 p.m.
  • Friday March 13: Irish Music Sing Along with Kevin Reynolds
  • Saturday March 14 (Parade Day): Music, dance and food all day beginning at 8 a.m. including, for the first time in several years, a return engagement by Barry’s Crossing.
  • Tuesday March 17: More music, dancing, food, great drink, bagpiper, all day.

Check the Barry’s Old School Irish Facebook page for details.

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Your mug on a mug of Guinness?

7 Feb

6605

So I was at Barry’s Old School Irish last night (I see that shocked and surprised look on your face) and was talking with Jess about plans for tomorrow’s Great Guinness Toast. (If you’re a Guinness lover and haven’t heard about this event yet, read more here. You don’t want to miss it.)

One of the highlights of the evening will be a visit by Guinness representatives, who will have what Danny and Jess called a “Guinness design machine.”

When I was there last night I had to ask her what the heck that was.

Apparently, Guinness has this machine that can imprint a sepia-toned photo on the foam of your freshly-poured Guinness. They call it a “STOUTie.” It’s created with a natural malt extract that’s added to the top of the beer, and since it’s malt, it won’t alter the taste of the beer.

Guinness only introduced this technology in November at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin when they hosted the International Stout Festival. So it’s just now making it over to this side of the pond, and chances are, Barry’s is one of the first pubs to experience it.

And that’s because Barry’s — our little corner pub in our little village — sells more Guinness than any other pub or restaurant in the Greater Rochester area and beyond.

So you can be one of the first to get your head on a head of beer.

Tomorrow’s Great Guinness toast will also feature free Guinness for everyone, entertainment by Billy Herring and other fun stuff. Click here for more information.

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Time to warm up that pint-raising arm

31 Jan

barry's old school

Webster’s favorite little Irish pub will be hosting its annual Great Guinness Toast (a.k.a. “St. Practice Day”) a week from Saturday.

As one of the top Irish pubs in the country (no exaggeration — read this blog here from 2018 for proof), Guinness representatives return every year about a month before St. Patrick’s Day to raise a pint of Guinness with everybody. The event happens all over the world, so participants know they’re part of something very big.

Guinness representatives especially like to come to Barry’s because — I believe — our little pub sells more Guinness than any other establishment in the Rochester area.

It all happens on Saturday Feb. 8 from 7 to 11 p.m. The official toast takes place at 10 p.m., when everyone will get a pint on the house. There will also be lots of giveaways, and a special Guinness design machine will be in the house to create pictures on top of the pints. Billy Herring will provide live Irish music from 7:30-10:30.

Barry’s Old School Irish is located at 2 West Main Street in the village of Webster.

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Barrys get VIP seats to McGregor fight

24 Jan

barrys

So this is cool.

You know how Danny and Jessica Barry, owners of my favorite Webster pub, Barry’s Old School Irish, have developed a pretty close relationship with Connor McGregor?

(Yeah, that Connor McGregor, the one who just gave a 40-second beating to some hapless opponent in the Fight Of The Century in Las Vegas.)

They’d been fans for a long time, and when McGregor introduced his very own Irish whiskey — called Proper Twelve — well, you can imagine how the Barry’s felt about that. The relationship has grown so strong that McGregor GAVE THEM TICKETS TO THE FIGHT. So they flew out, sat with the Proper Twelve team and even went to the after-party.

See the whole story here as reported by WROC Channel 8.

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“All roads lead to Barry’s”

10 Nov

staff

By all accounts, last night’s 8th anniversary party for Barry’s Old School Irish was the most memorable special event yet at our little pub.

As with every one of Barry’s special events, the place was packed to the rafters, and a good two dozen people were even braving the chilly weather on the patio. If you weren’t there, you missed a rockin’ set by Billy Herring, a bagpiper, Irish dancers, pub-wide singing, and Danny’s annual epic toast, which this year stretched to seven hand-written pages.

As one who’s been part of the Barry’s Pub family since it opened, I often look back and marvel at all the good friends I have made there. There was a time when pretty much any night of the week, I could look around and know most of the people who were sitting at the bar and tables.

That’s not the case any more, of course. Barry’s is no longer a well-kept secret, and I often whine (in jest) that Danny and Jess keep letting in new people that I don’t know.

But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Danny and Jess have created something unique and special. They have stayed true to their dream, and remain clearly focused on what’s most important when running a business: everyone — from the first-time visitor to one of the original “Friday night” regulars — is family, and family always comes first.

In Danny’s toast, he told the story about how when he and his family were driving around Dublin earlier this year, another car pulled up next to them and started honking the horn. The driver was wearing a Barry’s Old School Irish t-shirt.

All roads lead to Barry’s, and their loving influence is reaching around the world.

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