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About Rí Rá

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).

About the pub

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.

Publican & General Manager

David Nyhan

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.

Assistant General Manager

Elizabeth Steggerda

I love making sure others are having a great time, and ensuring their experiences with us are memorable in some way. Whether it be through amazing local brews, incredible dishes, craft cocktails, live music or the eclectic group of regulars and fun staff we have here, there is something for everyone.


Ryan Hickey

Over the last few years I have been lucky enough to work with some of the best chefs Burlington has to offer. I’ve learned an array of techniques and I am constantly trying to cross some of these techniques with Irish food.

One of my favorite things about being in Burlington is that I get to create dishes and utilize local and seasonal items gathered from the abundance of incredible farms that are right here in our own neighborhood, along with unique plating styles.

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

For International inquiries regarding J-1 training opportunities with Rí Rá in the USA, please send an email to for more details.

Robert Gargan

How my American Dream came true

Robert Gargan

Robert explains how his dream to live in America became a reality with Rí Rá.

Book a Party

There are those special occasions in your life when a 6 pack and a couple of frozen pizzas just won’t cut it, so draft in the party professionals – the Irish.