Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Escape from Douchebaggery, Part 28: Firkin on Paradise

The British Pub is not a particularly novel concept when it comes to bar themeing, either in Las Vegas or anywhere else. But when done well, a good British Pub is like the comfort food of bars, especially since the good ones literally serve comfort food. And beer of course, which is basically the perfect comfort beverage.
Firkin on Paradise, the new family-run British pub located in the strip-mall on Harmon Avenue and Paradise Road, offers everything you'd want and a little more in a British Pub. The place doesn't break any sort of new ground in terms of decor and design, and you can probably find similar places like it in every town across the country where people like to drink... but that's sort of the point. It's got a nice homey, neighborhood vibe and it executes everything its set out to do in a warm and inviting setting.

The main reason the place is so warm and inviting is probably because the owners are husband and wife duo Tony and Mariel Sharron, who told The Las Vegas Weekly that "we put our heart and souls into this place. It's our fourth child." The personal touch really makes the Pub special as the owners set out to open a place that would appeal to Beer lovers as well as a family friendly restaurant (if you find places that emphasize their Beer selection and often host rowdy patrons screaming at Football games while knocking back more than a few adult beverages to be friendly towards families, that is).

Thus the place features large booths, Shuffleboard and Pool tables, and Dart Boards, as well as flat-screen TVs for enjoying the big game. The menu is chock-full of Pub foods of a higher quality than most similar places, with the standout option being the Wednesday night all-you-eat Wings deal, a pretty dangerous though fun in the moment option that I took full advantage of on my last trek out to Vegas. The entire menu is impressive, and nothing costs all that much (or in Yelp parlance, this is a place that rates a mere $$).

But any Pub is only as good as their Beer selection, and Firkin has a fine list of Beers on tap indeed. With over 42 Brews available, there is a great selection of interesting Crafts as well as more popular options for those with a less adventurous palette. I've been on a giant Stone kick since I visited their awesome Bistro and Gardens outside of San Diego on the Sunday after Comic-Con weekend, and I enjoyed a few pints of their famous Arrogant Bastard Ale to cool down from the piles of extra-spicy Wings I consumed. They've also got a few Ballast Point beers on tap (another wonderful San Diego Brewery), including the incredible Sculpin IPA, which might well my second favorite IPA right now. (It ranks behind Russian River's legendary and a slightly scarce Pliny the Elder. I'm of course not counting the same brewery's legendary Pliny the Younger Triple IPA because it's only available once a year, but  that amazing beer justifiably earned its crown as the greatest in the world.) People looking for a little sweetness along with their Beer may enjoy their Bee Sting, Lager & Lime, Shantygraff, or Radler, in which Honey, Sprite, Ginger Ale, or Lemonade are added to a Brew of your choice, but I personally don't see the point in diluting the balance of a well brewed Ber. Another cool feature is the bar's Draft Wall, where you can pour your own drinks (though if you think that would make it easy to sneak a free drink or two, think again... they've got that system on lock-down).

There's no new ground being broken at Firkin on Paradise... it's just a solid and warmly inviting British Pub run by a husband wife duo serving delicious and affordable comfort food and pouring a terrific selection of cold Beer. It may not be revolutionary, but it's close to perfect.

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