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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 is celebrating its 21st anniversary in 2018. 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 artifacts including an original shop bar and 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 Patio

The patio at Rí Rá is perfect for lunch, dinner or a relaxing after work drink. This 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.

Business Development Leader

Jonathan Murphy

Originally from County Clare on the west coast of Ireland, I started my career in hospitality at the age of 14 in a five-star castle hotel in Ireland. After working 10 years in the castle and having established a solid foundation in hospitality, I decided to begin exploring the States and worked three summers in New York City as a server.

Once I finished college, I made the big move to Florida in 2010 and lived there for six years managing a large Irish pub. I eventually moved back to NYC for a couple of years until deciding I was ready to settle down with my new fiancé and thought Charlotte would be the perfect place. 

I am very excited to be captaining the Rí Rá ship. It is such a historic building and business. All of my experience has been in Irish pub concepts. Thankfully I came across this position and made the move quite quickly in the end. Ironically, my first day was Valentine’s Day, so I think it was the perfect match. Here at Rí Rá, we ensure that our guests are given a true Irish experience in every aspect from food to drink and of course, the infamous Irish hospitality.

General Manager

Brittany Pollack

I am from New Port Richey, Florida, a small town near Tampa. At the age of 23 I moved to the Big Apple where I worked alongside some of the best in the food industry in both Manhattan and Brooklyn for 3 years, honing my craft and love for all things food and drink. I moved to Rí Rá in Charlotte in 2018 and believe it is the perfect mix of quality product and good atmosphere. Exactly the kind of establishment I want to represent. I am a classically trained dancer and choreographer as well as a self-proclaimed makeup connoisseur when not in work!

Sales & Event Manager

Michelle Smith

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

Mark Wiley

I grew up in the “Royal County” of Meath, about 30 minutes from Dublin City. At the age of 16 I started working in my local pub where I did everything from lounge boy to working on the bar. While working I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Business, receiving Honors in Business and Entrepreneurship.

From there I continued my hospitality career with the Guinness Storehouse at St. James Gate in Dublin, the most visited tourist attraction in Europe! I worked my way up to Bar Supervisor and my time there was capped off when I was named their Employee of the Year for Hospitality. I then decided to spread my wings and came to Rí Rá, little did I know then how much that decision would change my life.

On my first day in the pub, I met my wonderful wife Michelle and the rest is history. I have been given this huge opportunity of becoming Assistant Manager of our wonderful pub and restaurant and am excited. Charlotte has been very good to me and I wouldn’t change coming here for the world. I guess you could say the man from the Royal County fell in love with more than just the Queen City!

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.

The Victorian Bar



Located in the second oldest original building in Uptown Charlotte, there’s been a significant amount of creepy occurrences that can only be explained by its haunted reputation!