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Something for everyone at Hennessey’s


Always a mecca of bustling activity, Hennessey’s Tavern, which

debuted here in 1986, is the longest-running success story on Ocean

Avenue’s Restaurant Row.


A sidewalk-facing open deck, usually crammed with a hip young

crowd, sets a happy pace for the interior bar and adjoining dining

room both equipped with ceiling-suspended TV sets. Upstairs there’s

live entertainment for dancing Wednesday through Saturday. Thus,


there’s something for everyone at the restaurant which attracts young

families whose toddlers are entertained with their own menus to color

and sports fans whose passion is easy to catch, especially when major

games are in progress.

Join the breakfast contingent starting at 7 a.m. and enjoy freshly

squeezed juices, freshly ground coffee and one of the most

imaginative menus in town featuring oatmeal, granola, pancakes and

French toast starting at $3.50, a variety of egg preparations


including Benedicts and rancheros and their famed Irish country

platters from $4.95 to $9.95.

Hennessey’s Tavern is also renowned for bountiful burgers, all of

which are two-for-one all day on Tuesdays. Except for the veggie

“earthburger” at $7.50, these are all less than $7. A hefty

dozen-plus hot and cold sandwiches tabbed from $3.95 to $9.75, range

from Italian and turkey heroes to a catch-of-the-day and the

marinated steak topped with mushrooms, jack cheese and grilled


onions, the latter two embraced in a toasted French roll. The house

salad with choice of dressing and a soup of the day are each $3.50.

More robust are Caesar, Cobb, chicken and citrus salads from $5.50 to


A quintet of dinners starts at 5 p.m.: meatloaf, salmon, pepper

chicken, baseball-cut top sirloin and pan-seared sirloin medallions

in brandy cream peppercorn sauce. At $9.95 to $16.95, these come with

garlic mashed potatoes or shamrock fries, steamed vegetables and a

garlic cheese stick. As no Irish pub is complete without corned beef

and cabbage, here it comes with boiled potatoes and carrots on a menu

offering honey pepper crusted salmon, honey glazed pork loin and a

juicy New York steak.

For happy snacking with a potable or two, there are beer-battered

onion rings, a basket of fries, crabcakes, nachos, quesadillas and

the burger sampler with toppings of cheese, mushrooms, guacamole,

barbecue sauce and bacon. Savory pork ribs were a recent $7.95

special, smoky with barbecue sauce, a side of rice pilaf and a salad

toss adding to its appeal.

Action aplenty upstairs goes beyond live bands, all commencing on

Sunday with an all-you-can-eat football breakfast buffet for $10.95,

a festive crab feast starting at 2 p.m. and two-for-one turkey

dinners from 5 p.m. Promotions on the street level are non-stop with

Monday “butchers’ choice” cuts of meat for a special price and

football T-bone steaks at $10.95. Two-for-one breakfasts are served

every Tuesday until noon. Wednesday is luck o’ the Irish Night for a

chance to win dinner with a lucky leprechaun coin toss.

On Thursday, if your birthday falls within the week, Hennessey’s

picks up your dinner tab with proof of date. Add to all this the

upstairs Reggae Night coupled with a Wing Fling from 8 to 11 p.m.

when $1 vodka/Red Bull Tooter Shooters and $2.95 baskets of spicy

wingers are up for grabs. Follow this on Friday with $3 Rockin’ Teas.

And top it all with Martini Madness every Saturday when the first of

those frosty libations is included in the price of your entree.

* GLORI FICKLING is a long-time Laguna Beach resident who has

written restaurant news and views columns since 1966. She may be reached at 494-4710 or by e-mail at