Tag Archives: Barry’s Old School Irish

St. Patrick’s Day, done right at Barry’s!

8 Mar

Count on Webster’s very own, award-winning Irish pub to do St. Patrick’s Day up right.

And I don’t throw the phrase “award-winning” around lightly. Since this little pub opened a little more than 11 years ago, Barry’s Old School Irish has racked up 15 local and national awards, regularly landing in the top 10 (or even top 5) in lists recognizing the best Irish pubs in the country.

Last week they added one more, when aol.com, together with TripAdviser, named Barry’s one of 20 “Under the Radar Pubs Across America that People Love.”

The online article read,

Started by Jessica and Danny Barry just over 11 years ago, Barry’s Old School Irish Pub offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere paired with delicious bites like sticky toffee pudding, corned beef Reuben fritters, potato and herb soup, and hot pretzels. The pub hosts its own annual Irish festival with music, craft vendors, Irish dance, and beer and food trucks. Barry’s may be a small, relatively new pub, but The Irish Post named it one of the best Irish pubs in the United States.

If you haven’t yet discovered this wee little corner of Ireland located smack-dab in the middle of the Village of Webster, St. Patrick’s Day is the time to do it. True to their award-winning reputation, Danny and Jess have planned not just one day’s worth, but more than a week’s worth of festivities to celebrate the season.

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s coming up. For more details, check out the Barry’s Facebook page or website.

  • March 10, 7-10 p.m.: Annual Irish Music Sing-Along with Kevin Reynolds and Trace Wilkins
  • March 11 (Parade Day): Open 8 a.m. to midnight with breakfast, traditional session by The Killarney Boys; Irish dancers, bagpipers, whiskey samples; live music by Dave North, Everheart and Billy Herring; giveaways and more.
  • March 14, 6 to 8 p.m.: Guinness Glass Etching with Guinness on the house
  • March 15, 6:30 p.m.: All Things Green Trivia, with prizes sponsored by Guinness. Email Barrysirishpub@gmail.com to reserve a table.
  • March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day): Open 8 a.m. to midnight with breakfast, traditional session by The Killarney Boys; Irish dancers, bagpipers, whiskey samples; live music by Dave North, Everheart and Kevin Reynolds; giveaways and more.

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(posted 3/8/2023)

A toast to Barry’s, and a peek inside the new Woofs indoor dog park

22 Jan

Anyone who knows Barry’s Old School Irish knows how much Danny Barry likes to make toasts to just about anything, often handing out mini shots of whiskey to everyone in the pub when he does.

Last night was no exception, but the occasion was rather exceptional. Saturday night’s whiskey toast was to our Webster firefighters, and the occasion was to present a $1,000 check to the Webster Volunteer Fire Department (WVFD), a portion of the proceeds from last August’s Barry’s Irish Festival.

As an illustration of the bond between Barry’s Old School Irish and the WVFD, Danny pointed out the Barry’s-emblazoned firefighter jacket hanging just inside the front door. “It’s one of our favorite things in this pub,” he said, “a reminder of the friendship we’ve had for the 12 years we’ve been open.”

WVFD Chief Andrew Vorndran accepted the check and spoke for the many firefighters assembled last night, thanking Danny and Jessica for “being family and for always being there for us.”

Barry’s also donated a portion of their Irish Festival proceeds to the Ancient Order of Hibernians in support of their efforts to build an Irish Center in Rochester.


When I stopped into Woof’s Canine Club and Indoor Dog Park on Thursday, things were still in significant disarray. So I was pleasantly surprised on Saturday, when I went back for the grand opening celebration and saw an amazing transformation and an impressive facility.

There’s a very large, astro-turfed area for large dogs to run around in, which owner Christine Gigante had sprinkled with some agility equipment. Fenced off to the side is a smaller area for smaller dogs, and both areas have benches along the walls for the pups’ parents to sit while their dogs play.

But what I really liked was the nice little cafe area and social area, designed for pet owners to relax while they watch their dogs play, and maybe even get to know others. There’s a small work-out area, some retail, and even dog-friendly baked goods.

A steady stream of dogs and their people were coming and going while I was there, and the opening even got some attention from the local TV stations.

On her Facebook page last night, owner Christine Gigante couldn’t hold back her excitement. She wrote,

“Wow! Just wow. We cannot thank you all enough for such an AMAZING DAY! Thank you to 13 WHAM ABC and WHEC TV for coming to cover our grand opening event and to our phenomenal neighbors and partners for supporting us.”

Woofs Canine Club and Indoor Dog Park is located at 187 West Main St. in Webster, in the old World Gym building. Official business operating hours will begin on Wednesday, Jan. 25. Hours will be posted on the Woofs Facebook page, so check back there often for updates.

Here a look inside:

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(posted 1/22/2023)

Barry’s Old School Irish celebrates 11 years

15 Nov

Do you remember this corner?

If you lived in Webster, say, 12 or 13 years ago, you might remember this unusual garden, complete with a mini-waterfall. It stood  at the the village’s four corners, welcoming visitors to our main business corridor. It adorned the storefront of the Living Plumber at 2 West Main St., and it stood for as long as I can remember.

That is, until the Living Plumber’s owner passed away, the village cleared it away, Danny and Jessica Barry moved in, and committed to turning that corner into something really special: a friendly little Irish pub.

For a long time now, it’s been clear to all of us that the Barrys have done that and so much more. With Barry’s Old School Irish, they’ve created a super-friendly, welcoming pub for the whole family. A place where you can set up your computer in the middle of the day to work while listening to musicians jamming in the corner. Where everyone who comes in is immediately considered part of the family.

Barry’s Old School Irish has not only changed that corner for the better, it has changed our village.

This weekend, on Saturday Nov. 19, Danny and Jessica Barry will celebrate their little pub’s 11th anniversary. The party begins at 7 p.m. with live music by Irish rocker Billy Herring, Jameson Irish Whiskey reps will be on hand all night with samples and giveaways, dancers from the Jamieson Irish Dance school will perform, some bagpipers will be stopping by, and the Official Toast (always an epic event) takes place at 9:30.

I’m pleased and proud to say I’ve been an extended member of the Barry’s Pub family since before they even opened, when I popped in to interview the new owners for this blog and took that iconic picture of them holding the sign that would soon adorn the outside of their pub. There were no pictures on the walls, no musicians in the corner, no cheeseburgers on the grill or soup in the pot. Just two young kids with a dream which they continue to expand upon every single day.

If you STILL haven’t stopped by this little Irish corner of the world, at 2 West Main Street right smack in the middle of the village, you’re missing something special.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

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(posted 11/11/2022)

Village of Webster business news

3 Nov

There’s a lot to celebrate for some of our Village of Webster businesses, beginning this weekend at Lala of Webster.

Believe it or not, Lala is celebrating its fourth anniversary this Friday and Saturday Nov. 4 and 5. In the last four years, the shop has doubled in size, opened a sister store, Whimsies, right next door, and always seems to be busy. Every time I visit the shops there’s something new to look at, and I always find them a great place to find holiday gifts.

In celebration of the anniversary, both Lala and Whimsies will be hosting an open house on Friday and Saturday, and offer 30% off all items. Plus, they’ll be giving away a beautiful gift basket. Fill out the entry form you see here and make sure to bring it with you when you shop.

Lala’s is located at 38 East Main Street in Webster. (Click here to read the blog I wrote when Lala opened.)


Cassano Studio has expanded to a second location in East Rochester.

Cassano Studio, owned and operated by Chad Cassano, specializes in teaching voice and acting workshops to children and adults with disabilities. Chad has operated his Village of Webster-based studio for about four years, but just recently opened up a second studio at The Piano Works mall in East Rochester.

The new studio is double the size of his original space, has a blackbox theater, two recording booths and an additional podcasting room.

Chad writes that he chose The Piano Works specifically because of its historical significance. He also said, “I also wanted to network alongside people who are already working with people with special needs, which is definitely something I wanted to concentrate on.” Between the two studios, Chad now has more than 120 students.

Click here to read the blog I wrote about Cassano Studio earlier this year, including lots more about how Chad found his calling to help those with special needs find their voice.


The Village Quilt Shoppe, at 21 East Main, will host a Holiday Open House on Saturday Nov. 19 at 11 a.m.

There will be several demos, some great holiday gift ideas and the reveal of five new patterns, which will be featured in December’s upcoming classes. There’s no charge for the event, but Vanetta and Monique are asking that you register ahead of time. Give them a call at 585-626-6916, email them at thevillagequiltshoppe@gmail.com, or stop in and see them!

They’ll also be collecting non-perishable food items at the open house for Webster Community Chest, and will be collecting them all month.


Speaking of anniversaries, our village’s very own award-winning Irish pub, Barry’s Old School Irish, will celebrate its 11th anniversary with a huge party on Saturday Nov. 19, beginning at 7 p.m.

More details to come about that, but — as always — there will be live music, Irish dancers, bagpipers, giveaways all night, an official Irish whiskey toast, and more. You definitely want to put this one on your calendar right now, because it’s always a great time.


Cassano Studio has expanded to a second location in East Ro


Finally, I picked up this exciting news when I was wandering around the village during the Trick-or-Treat Trail.

M/Body fitness studio is opening up a new location in Webster. It will be offering cycling, barre, yoga, boxing, pilates, HIIT and more.

The new studio will be located at 44 East Main St., and plans are to be up and running later this month. Much more to come about that.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

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(posted 11/3/2022)

Barry’s Old School Irish honored … AGAIN

18 Aug

Barry’s Old School Irish is making Webster proud again.

Our authentic little Irish pub, located smack dab in the middle of the Village of Webster, has already racked up numerous accolades from places like the Irish Post and TripAdvisor, which have both named Barry’s one of the best Irish pubs in the United States. Today, Danny and Jessica Barry can add yet another distinction to the list.

TastingTable.com, a New York City-based website focusing on good food and drink, has just published their ranking of the “Best Irish Pubs in America,” and of course our very own Barry’s Old School Irish is on that list.

Tasting Table’s list includes 22 pubs located in 14 states stretching from Hawaii to New York, North Dakota to Florida. Each listing gives a little background of the pub and what makes it special. Barry’s listing reads:

A few years ago, Jessica and Danny Barry were on their honeymoon in Ireland. After falling in love with the charming pubs throughout the Irish countryside, the Barrys aimed to bring back a taste of that charm to their hometown, and Barry’s Old School was born.

Though locals love this pub, it has also been recognized as one of the top 20 Irish pubs in the United States and one of the best in New York state. With the typical drink fare and great food, the menu features favorites like the Barry family’s homemade potato and herb soup and the Bunratty wrap. You’ll also find favorites like the Reuben and shepherd’s pie.

Each year, the pub also hosts its own Irish festival, complete with Guinness sponsorship. With activities in yoga, kids’ activities, music, beer trucks, food trucks, craft vendors, and even an Irish dance performance, this festival certainly succeeds in the Barry’s goal of bringing the life of an Irish pub home.

And as you can see from the photo above, the article is illustrated by just one of the special features that makes Barry’s Old School an AUTHENTIC Irish pub, the weekly traditional music session (every Saturday at 2 p.m. Don’t miss it.)

Congratulations, Danny and Jess Barry for this latest achievement.

Click here to read the entire article.

Barry’s Old School Irish is located at 2 West Main St. in the Village of Webster. Click here to see their webpage, and here for their Facebook page to learn more.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

(posted 8/18/2022)

Come on in, Webster, the music’s fine!

10 Mar

Despite being such a small town, the Village of Webster has an amazing amount of great music.

Every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, plus the occasional Wednesday, you can find live music SOMEWHERE in the village, performed by a variety of local and regional bands, playing folk, Irish, country, oldies, rock & roll and more.

Pub 235, at 235 North Ave., starts off every musical week on Tuesdays with Eggman’s Traveling Carnival, which plays from 7 to 9 p.m. Once a month or so, Nate Michaels also takes the stage.

Jojo Bistro & Wine Bar at 42 E. Main St has live music every Thursday night from 6 to 8 p.m. Among the regulars performing there are Thurlow, Amanda Ashley and Sean Rosenberry.

The music at Barry’s Old School Irish, 2 West Main St., starts Friday night, and it’s usually Irish. Saturday, a folk music jam session meets in the bakery side of the pub from noon to 2 p.m., followed by a traditional Irish music session from 2 to 5. Then, after THAT, another (usually non-Irish) band provides entertainment. Barry’s often brings in bands from Buffalo in addition to featuring local talent.

The Coach Sports Bar, 19 West Main, also usually has music on Saturday nights from 9 to 1 p.m.

Even the village’s newest restaurant, Cobblestone on Main, at 109 West Main, has dipped its toes into the local music scene. Cobblestone has already hosted Claudia Hoyser three times, and will be welcoming Amy Montrois later this month and in May.

Owner Dan Bresnahan has chosen to schedule his live music dates on Wednesdays, so he doesn’t step on any other venue’s toes. At least for now, however, he doesn’t expect to host entertainers every week, but rather have them in for special events. But, he adds, “We want to help support local music. They suffered as much as anybody during COVID.”

This weekend in particular is a big one for local music, thanks in large part to Saturday being “Parade Day.” For some bars and restaurants, Rochester’s St. Patrick’s Day parade marks the beginning of the St. Patrick’s Day season. So in addition to the regular music dates mentioned above, several venues have added even more bands to their schedules.

Barry’s Old School Irish’s Saturday music schedule, for example, begins with a traditional Irish session at 10 a.m. and continues all day and evening with three more bands. (Click here to see the whole schedule). Cobblestone is featuring two bands, Sean Rosenberry from 2 to 5 p.m., followed by Leecy & Greg from 6 to 9 p.m.

On St. Patrick’s Day itself next Thursday, look for even more music at Barry’s Old School Irish.

As the pandemic continues to wane and we all feel more and more like going out in the evenings and getting back to normal, it’s great to know there are so many opportunities so close by to enjoy exceptional live music. And it’ll only get better as the weather gets warmer and the music gets piped onto the patios. (Or sometimes the musicians themselves set up outside.)

Thank you to the pub and restaurant owners who understand how important music is in our lives, and for supporting our local musicians.

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Folk music has found a home in the Village of Webster

20 Feb

Anyone familiar with the Village of Webster probably knows by now that our corner pub, Barry’s Old School Irish, is THE place to find authentic Irish music. Fewer people realize, however, that every weekend Barry’s is also home to the best folk music in town, performed by the Webster Saturday Folk Jam.

Stop into Barry’s Old School Irish any Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. and you’ll find a group of folk musicians circled around tables in the bakery side of the pub. They’re mostly playing guitars, with an occasional mandolin, banjo, bass or ukulele joining the mix. But they’re all playing, and they’re all singing, jamming to tunes we all know and filling the pub with beautiful music.

The Webster Saturday Folk Jam was established just over five years ago by Webster resident Dave Wyble, who’s led the weekly sessions since day one. He was inspired by a similar group hosted by the Golden Link Folk Singing Society, which has been holding Tuesday-night “sing-arounds” for more than 50 years.

Wyble, a self-described Golden Link “lurker” and folk musician himself (he and his wife Patty have their own duo, Doctor’s Orders), liked the idea of bringing more music to the pub. At the same time, he added, hosting a weekly jam would help him improve his own musical skills, learn more about folk music, and share that knowledge with others.

The Webster Saturday Folk Jams, however, have always been different in one big way from the sing-arounds which inspired them.

The Golden Link philosophy focuses as much on the history of the music as the music itself, Wyble explained. “It’s more about the culture of folk music, what folk music has brought to the culture in addition to the actual tunes.”  

“Their focus is more on keeping alive the folk tradition,” he added. “When you sing a song (at the sing-arounds) you’re more or less expected to introduce it in some way,” telling of its history or where you learned it, before playing the song for the assembled musicians. Sometimes others will play along, but mostly everyone else just sits back and listens. 

It’s not unusual for up to 25 musicians to join the sing-arounds, which mean that usually there’s only enough time for each musician to perform once. Wyble wanted his Webster Saturday Folk Jam sessions to offer more playing opportunities than that.

“I wanted a new form of group where all in attendance had the opportunity to play along if they so desired,” he said. To facilitate that, everyone works from the same two songbooks, Rise Up Singing and Rise Again. That way, everyone has the chords and lyrics in front of them for every song played.

Between them, the books have about 2500 songs, and they’re not all what you might consider “folk classics.” For sure, folkies like Pete Seeger, Peter Paul & Mary and Woodie Guthrie are well represented. But you’ll also find Jason Mraz, Mumford & Sons, Ed Sheeran and Green Day. There’s even a whole chapter called “Millenial Songs.”

Working from common songbooks also makes it easy for anyone in the listening crowd to join in.

“If someone comes along and looks interested,” Wyble said, “I will hand them a book and say, ‘Here, pick one of these and we’ll do our best to play it with you. … I might not know the song, but if you can sing it and I’ve got the chords in front of me, I will play it for you.'” 

“That’s the kind of inclusivity that we’ve always tried to maintain here. Make it so that it’s a group environment. Because folk music by its definition is the music that the folk sing,” a description he attributes to Pete Seeger.  

The group was successful from the very beginning, drawing musicians from all over the area, including several Golden Link board members. The first session, held on January 7, 2017, attracted nine musicians, most of whom still attend regularly. Since then, the circle might have as few as four or five, whereas other weeks as many as a dozen musicians and their instruments have had to squeeze into the bakery corner.

The pandemic didn’t even slow them down too much.

Like everything else, the Webster Saturday Folk Jams took a big hit from COVID. The sessions moved to Zoom for several months when the pandemic began, then returned in-person for a few months over the summer until Delta and Omicron drove them back online.

In-person sessions have returned to the pub again, however. For two hours last Saturday, Barry’s Old School Irish was once again filled with folk harmonies, getting toes tapping and the pub singing.

Being part of the crowd was kind of like sitting around a campfire with good friends. And that’s exactly what the Webster Saturday Folk Jam is all about.

Click here to find out more about the Webster Saturday Folk Jam, or better yet, stop by Barry’s Old School Irish any Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. to see what it’s all about. Bring your voice, bring an instrument, or just bring your love of folk music. You’ll be welcome no matter what.

Barry’s is located at 2 West Main St. in the Village of Webster.

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Do you like your Guinness?

16 Feb

If you’re a fan of Ireland’s most popular pint, then you’re not going to want to miss this event.

The Great Guinness Toast returns to Barry’s Old School Irish pub this Saturday Feb. 19. Since it opened more than ten years ago, Barry’s has always been invited by Guinness to host this annual — worldwide — event by virtue of the fact that Barry’s sells more Guinness than any other pub or restaurant in the Greater Rochester area and beyond.

That’s right. Our little corner of Ireland in OUR little village is THAT authentic.

This is always one of Barry’s Old School Irish’s most popular events of the year, in part because there are always free Guinness pints handed out to anyone who wants one, free giveaways from the Guinness reps, and live music. And of course there’s Danny’s epic toast. Sláinte!

Basically, you don’t want to miss any of it.

Festivities for this year’s Great Guinness Toast (which is also known as “St. Practice Day” since it marks a month before St. Patrick’s Day) begin at 7 p.m. The pints on the house and official toast happen at 9:15 (ish…. we ARE talking Irish time, after all).

Never been to Barry’s? Here’s a taste from last Saturday’s traditional Irish session. It doesn’t get more Irish pub-like than this.

Barry’s Old School Irish is located at 2 West Main St. at the Village of Webster’s four corners.

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Who WAS that masked woman?

24 Jan

Despite how it might seem — given my peculiar habit of wading barefoot in the snow — I really don’t like winter or cold weather. I don’t like it when my nostrils freeze every time I take a breath. I don’t like having to baby-step down the frozen sidewalk so I don’t take a fall. And I really don’t like it when the wind is strong enough to freeze my wire-rimmed glasses to my face.

But I fancy myself a runner, and since running and walking are my main forms of exercise (especially when my bikes are hanging in the garage), hiding out on cold and snowy days is just not an option. So even on these sub-zero windchill days in January and February, you’ll find me out there, plodding along on one of my regular routes through the village.

You might have seen me. I’m that crazy person who looks like a terrorist.

Because, of course, surviving a run these days is really just a matter of preparation. That means layers, a neck and cheek warmer, knit hat and heavy gloves. (Add sunglasses on a bright day and the terrorist look is complete). Equipped thusly, even the coldest cold can be managed for the few miles I’m out there. Reflective gear and a pair of Yaktrax cleats for the bottom of my sneakers are also must-haves to safely navigate our slippery streets and sidewalks.

Of course, I’m far from the only crazy person who thinks winter running is fun, and most of those others run longer distances than I do. They include the members of my Barry’s Runners group, which meets every Tuesday evening at Barry’s Old School Irish in the village. Even in the coldest weather, the runs will attract a half dozen or more die-hards, and sometimes we’re the only people at the pub because no one else is crazy enough to come out.

The conversations over our post-run beers on these nights often turn to winter running shirts and jackets, traction gear, reflective equipment, and how many layers you should wear when it’s 5 degrees out.

So I’ll keep running, nostril-freezing cold or not. It’s my way of enduring the winter. And not for nothing, when I head out for a walk, running instead gets me home a lot faster.

(And P.S., new runners and walkers are always welcome to join Barry’s Runners!)

Thanks to my GoPro-finding friend DP Dunn for this blog idea. If you have any ideas to throw my way, email me at the address below!

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@missyblog)

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Music, friends and confetti mark Barry’s Old School Irish’s 10th anniversary

9 Nov

It was pretty busy Saturday night at Barry’s Old School Irish in the Village of Webster. But that was to be expected, as the little Irish pub was celebrating its 10th annivesary.

Hundreds of well-wishers streamed in and out throughout the evening, coming for the friendly atmosphere, great live music, good food and perfectly poured pints. Friends met up with friends, and strangers became new friends. And all evening, people were sharing their favorite Barry’s memories, from the time the horse came in the pub to when there was a fireplace in the corner — next to a couch.

Here’s a slideshow of photos from that evening (in no particular order).

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