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About Rí Rá

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 opened its doors for the first time on March 14th, 1997. The pub survived a major fire in 2009 and will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2017. Meticulously restored in Ireland and shipped to the US, Rí Rá embodies everything that you would expect from a genuine Irish pub. The pub has been carefully restored from old Irish pubs and related salvaged artefacts including an original shop bar, a 19th century Victorian bar. The pub and fire restoration required a tremendous effort from a select group of master carpenters, glazers and painters. We are proud to showcase a unique and genuine Irish pub in Uptown Charlotte.

The Shop Bar

The first bar you encounter as you enter the pub is our Shop Bar. It is a fine example of a pub that is the focal point of community life in rural Ireland transported to Charlotte. The bar originated from the north of the country and includes a restored Guinness mirror and a collection of ledgers from Dublin Corporation dating from 1800 – 1840. These ledgers are available to all to peruse over a quite pint. Our shop bar is a perfect spot to escape the hustle and bustle of Tryon St. Sit, enjoy a pint, a bite to eat, a chat and you will be transported back in time to the quintessential Irish country pub you would visit while on a trip to Ireland.

The Victorian Bar

The Victorian bar in the middle of the pub was restored from the officers mess in the Phoenix Park barracks in Dublin. The original bar was removed in 1920 and it lay in storage in a garage close by in Castleknock for over 70 years. On the left side of the back bar you will see an enclosed cabinet from the night of the fire of 2009. The items in the cabinet are preserved as they were directly after that fire. The centrepiece of this bar is our statue of St. Patrick that dates from the mid 1800’s.

The Whiskey Room

The Whiskey Room upstairs at Rí Rá features an extensive range of whiskey, bottle conditioned cocktails, punches and craft beers in a warm, relaxing and fun environment. Our cocktail recipes have been developed in partnership with Jack McGarry. Jack is a partner in the Dead Rabbit which was awarded the “World’s Best Bar 2015” by Tales of the Cocktail – The Spirited Awards. 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 Dining / Music Room

This room is a perfect space for lager occasions it is a unique and beautiful space with wood paneling, button down leather seating and rich wall finishes. This room can accommodate up to 90 people for a sit down dinner and 150 people for a reception-style event. The room includes a stage, large drop down screen, multiple TV screens and full sound and lighting system.

The Terrace

The patio at Rí Rá is perfect for lunch, dinner or a relaxing after work drink. The terrace is a little secret oasis with unique views of the uptown Charlotte skyline. The patio seats 50 people and can accommodate 100 people standing with its own dedicated restrooms. It is a perfect location for a private event or late night cocktail overlooking the Hearst Tower Plaza.

Rí Rá in the Community

Here at Rí Rá, we love to bring our sense of family to the community and enjoy being involved with local community groups such as the Charlotte Irish Connection, B.A.B.G and Alliance Francais to make our neighborhood a better place to live, work and socialize.

We are particularly proud of our outreach work with sports groups such as Queen City Gooners, Charlotte Barcelona and Florida Gators. 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 host an annual golf tournament in aid of Angels of the Abbey charity and also host an annual event in March for the Saint Baldrick’s Foundation for Childhood Cancer and have raised over $27,000 to date.

Publican & General Manager

Dermot Lloyd

Rí Rá Charlotte opened its doors in 1997 and is just about a household name in The Queen City. After a fire in 2010 it closed briefly, only to reopen and reclaim its place as an Uptown landmark. It is an exciting time to be in Charlotte, as the city continues to grow and flourish. I am proud to be at the helm of such a landmark business, a pub that is knitted into the fabric of Charlotte’s community.

Sales & Event Manager

Michelle Harvin


I worked my way through college in the restaurant industry as many people do. Once I received my Master’s in Marketing, I left the restaurant world and started my Marketing career. Five years later I made my re-entry into the restaurant industry at Rí Rá. I love the fast-paced environment and meeting so many interesting people. I also love the history of the Pub that I can’t help but share its many stories with everyone I meet along the way. Event planning has quickly become my passion and I truly enjoy planning parties.

Assistant Manager

Harmony Gonze

Harmony has worked in various restaurants in various cities for the past 15 years. She graduated from JWU Denver with an Associate’s in Culinary Arts and a Bachelors’ in Food Service Management in 2009 and has been working in food service management since.  She has a passion for bourbon, scotch, wine and beer which gave her drive to explore many food hubs, tours of Bourbon Country and plan trips/ vacations with the question “what food can I try when I get there?” in mind. 

“I think one factor in me joining the Rí Rá family was the opportunity to explore the amazing Irish Whiskeys and the unique culture that the Irish offer, it’s working in Ireland while still being in Charlotte.

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.

Ray DeBarra - The Clonmel Champagne Connoisseur


Fast becoming a Queen City institution, this Cork man, Ray De Barra, is not just a familiar face behind the bar but a well-known man in the city!

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.