opened it's doors in 1988. Originally, the bar and restaurant was one of the only Irish establishments in the Virginia-Highland neighborhood.
Gordon Kerr moved to Atlanta from Ireland in 1986. After bartending in Buckhead for a few years, and then managing Limerick Junction for close to eight years, Kerr took over full ownership of the restaurant in 2010.
Patch: What are some of your most popular dishes?
Gordon: Well Guiness is our number one seller. It's our forte and we even have numerous awards from the brewery. But you know Irish food is really good if you tweak it, which is what we do here. We do an Irish burger that actually uses proper Irish bacon. We also have sheppard's pie and Irish stew. We are actually tweaking our menu now and we're adding a curry, which is actually quite traditional in Ireland because of the Asian and European influences. We're also adding more traditional soups from Ireland for the winter time. We also do wings, which is an American dish, but we make our own Guiness barbeque sauce. We do an Irish slider, which is again more of an American dish but we add Irish cheddar and leeks instead of onions.
Patch: What is the atmosphere you have tried to create at Limerick Junction?
Gordon: We're accommodating. I want people to walk in the door and whether they eat here or not I want them to have a good time. I think we're known for our hospitality so when you walk in the door I want you to immediately feel at home, first through our staff and later through our music. That's my biggest emphasis. When I train people I want our staff to be friendly. When people walk out of our door I want an e-mail the next day saying that they had a great time and I get a lot of those.
Patch: What makes your restaurant unique?
Gordon: Well there's actually three things we can do. Our staff, our musicians and our decor and it all comes back to what I was talking about with our hospitality. There are a lot of bars in Virginia Highlands so there has to be a reason to walk in the door. Our patrons are welcomed, they're served correctly and whenever they're ready they need to be entertained. We do the Irish sing-along music most evenings and also have started a comedy night on Tuesdays which fits perfectly in an Irish bar. There are more Irish jokes than any other jokes that I know and the best jokes I hear are when I actually go to Ireland because we're not afraid to make fun of ourselves.
Patch: What is something guests might not realize on their first visit to Limerick Junction?
Gordon: I don't think we're known for our food. We're known for our music and we're known for our pints but our food is really good.
Located at 822 N. Highland Ave., Limerick Junction is open Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. until 1 a.m., Friday from 5 p.m. until 3 a.m., Saturday from 2 p.m. until 3 a.m. and Sunday from 2 p.m. until midnight. The restaurant also features a comedy night on Tuesdays and live music Wednesday through Sunday. For more information visit the Limerick Junction website.