Rí Rá comes from "Rí Rá agus Ruaile Buaile", a phrase translating roughly as divilment, good fun or any sociable activity that improves with fine food, a nice pint of Guinness or dram of Uisce Beatha (whiskey).
Rí Rá is located in an historic bank building, designed by Boston based Harper & West, that was completed in 1931. The pub opened for the first time in March 1999, and was extended in 2002 with the addition of the Library area. In February 2012, The Whiskey Room opened its doors. As you enter Rí Rá, you can imagine yourself walking through a door that leads you across the pond to experience the best pubs of Ireland. The pub interiors were salvaged and restored in Ireland prior to being shipped to Vermont. We are proud to showcase a unique and genuine Irish pub in the heart of Burlington.
The Shop Bar & Snug Area
The first bar you encounter as you enter the pub is our Shop Bar. For centuries, people throughout rural Ireland have gathered in these cozy pubs. The shop/hardware items on display are available for sale. Purchase some light bulbs, enjoy a pint, bite to eat, a chat and you will be transported back in time to the quintessential Irish country pub. This area includes a lounge snug that has a retro feel for the swinging sixties that is a perfect spot for a quiet drink.
The Victorian Bar
The Victorian bar in the middle of the pub is a classic example of bars from that period. Its etched glass mirrors, copper finishes and ornate chandeliers were typical elements in pubs during 19th century Dublin. This bar was custom made with salvaged materials imported from Ireland. With its large stage and big TV screen, it is the perfect gathering spot for late night or a major sport event.
The Whiskey Room
You can enter The Whiskey Room at Rí Rá from the street on College Street or through the side door in the pub. The room features an extensive range of whiskey, craft beers & cocktails along with a tapas style menu in a warm, relaxing and fun environment. There is plenty to learn about whiskey and even more to enjoy. The story of whiskey is long, fascinating and worth sharing with good company. The truth is, it’s a journey of a lifetime. So relax and enjoy. There’s no rush.
The Cottage & Library Area
These rooms are perfect spaces for all occasions – lunch, dinner or a private party. Both rooms overlook the park and are perfect spots for a quiet meal or special occasion. The low ceilings, exposed beams and working fireplace, together with our warm welcoming staff creates a home away from home environment to escape the hustle and bustle of Church Street. The library area includes a large TV screen for small groups to gather in comfort to watch a game or to stage an event.
Rí Rá in the Community
Here at Rí Rá, we love to be a part of the local community. We enjoy being involved with local groups such as Meals on Wheels and the Humane Society and to make our neighborhood a better place to live, work and socialize.
We are also heavily involved with local charities and try to give back to the community that so graciously welcomed us to the neighborhood. We sponsor the annual Penguin Plunge in December for the Special Olympics; a contribution which has helped the organization raise over $474,000 this year. We are also very proud of our Annual Golf Tournament and the now infamous Santa Run event; both held in aid of the Camp Ta Kum Ta charity.
I grew up in the Rebel County of Cork in Ireland and started pouring pints at the early age of 15. I knew that this would be my career for many years to come. I first joined Rí Rá back in 2003 and fell in love with the great State of Vermont. I moved around the country, opening new bars for 10 years, but Vermont was always calling me back. In 2014, I became a US citizen and knew that Vermont was the ideal place for me and my family to settle. You will see me in the pub enjoying the craic and making you all feel like family.
Growing up in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, I first discovered my love for cooking at a very young age. My father taught me the way around a kitchen, so that by the age of 15, at my first kitchen job, I fit right in. I realized then that one of my favorite aspects of cooking was the satisfaction gained from a beautiful presentation.
I believe in fostering an environment in which patrons will experience not only the quality of the food but also appreciate the presentation of our fresh fare. I am excited to bring this enthusiasm into the kitchen at Rí Rá.
Community Outreach Manager
I have been with Rí Rá Burlington for almost two years now, but until recently, I spent most of my time behind the bar chatting with patrons and slinging drinks. This July, I took on the [brand new!] role of Community Outreach Manager for Rí Rá and The Whiskey Room. I truly feel that I am in the right place, doing the right thing– after all, what beer and whiskey enthusiast wouldn’t enjoy working for a bar?!
I look forward to planning and booking your next party or function for you! Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I was born and raised in Franklin County, Vermont. I began my journey within the restaurant industry when I was 17 years old. I began at the very bottom as a dish washer/ table busser, and made my way through each department. I found my calling when it came to bartending/ managing and the industry itself. I love the work, the atmosphere, and above all, my patrons. I truly enjoy the atmosphere at Rí Rá, and am thrilled to become a part of the wonderful team we have here.
Jobs and Training
Rí Rá is a busy and exciting place work. We are always on the lookout for motivated quality Managers, Bar & Wait staff, Kitchen Team and other hourly positions.
If you’re interested in working in a fun and highly rewarding atmosphere, within a great team, then email your questions and resume to email@example.com.
For International inquiries regarding J-1 training opportunities with Rí Rá in the USA, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
How my American Dream came true
Robert explains how his dream to live in America became a reality with Rí Rá.