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 opened its doors for the first time in December, 2013. The pub is made up of two separate buildings that date from the late 1800’s. Each rescued artefact has been carefully restored in County Wicklow, a scenic area just south of Dublin, and then shipped to M Street in the heart of Georgetown. 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 turn of the century Victorian bar. We are proud to showcase a unique and genuine Irish pub located in this historic community.
The Victorian Bar
Our Victorian bar is a classic example of the bars of that period. It’s etched glass mirrors, gilded columns and central to the back bar is our St. Patrick. He was rescued from a burning building on Patrick Street Cork, Saturday 11th December 1920, when three hundred businesses and homes were destroyed by fire, including City Hall, The Library and The Munster Arcade. The statue remained hidden away for the last ninety years until his smoke damaged remains turned up at an estate sale in the city in 2011. Evidence of his ordeal can still be seen even after painstaking restoration work carried out by a specialist team in Ireland, most noticeable are his charred staff and smoke-blackened cloak. This area includes a raised lounge to the rear for quiet enjoyment of a beverage or two and a bite to eat.
The Theatre Room
The theater area to the right as you enter, has meticulously restored panelling and columns from The Theatre Royal, Hawkins Street, Dublin. The Theatre Royal was a huge theatre, the biggest in Europe at one time seating 3700 people + 300 people standing. It had a theatre, cinema, wintergarden and restaurant and it was fondly called “The Royal” by Dubliners . The theatre closed in 1962 because it wasn’t making enough money. Bob Hope & Julie Garland are among the celebrities who performed at The Royal. Hawkins Street is located just north of Trinity College and south of the river Liffey in the heart of Dublin. This room includes a large drop down screen, performance stage, sound and light system for live music.
The Whiskey Room
The Whiskey Room upstairs at Rí Rá features an extensive range of world whiskies including limited edition and hard to find Irish, Scotch and Bourbons. The whole experience is a treat for both Whiskey aficionados and those new to whiskey. We also offer a selection of craft cocktails, punches and beers in a warm, relaxing and fun environment. The bar and cabinets were salvaged from Madigan’s watchmakers and jeweler on Elis Quay, Dublin. 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. There’s no rush and enjoy.
The Presidential Room
This room is a perfect space for large or small occasions. It is a unique and beautiful space with button-down leather seating and rich wall finishes. The room gets its name as a result the portraits of past presidents and the large bust of JFK on display. This room can accommodate up to 70 people for a sit-down dinner and over a hundred people for a reception-style event. The room includes a large drop-down screen and multiple TV screens.
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 and our local universities 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 the Clan na Gael G.A.A. (Gaelic Hurling & Football). 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 a number of events every year in aid of Warfighter Sports, an amazing cause which helps veterans.
I am originally from County Wexford in the sunny south east of Ireland. Having been in the industry for over 20 years across Ireland, England, Germany and the US, I enjoy meeting new people and having the craic with our customers. No two days are the same! I am a firm believer that pubs are all about the people within the four walls and pride myself on our team in Georgetown. After travelling for many years, I feel that Olive and I have found a home here in our nation’s capital. As General Manager, I look forward to welcoming you to our pub!
Although I got my start in Verona, New Jersey, I consider myself a citizen of the world. My father was a diplomat, which meant I got to live in tons of different places like Mexico, Colombia, London, and Taiwan. I love seeing how different cultures vary, which makes working at Rí Rá a real treat. I have over 10 years of bartending experience, followed by a few managing positions at other restaurants. These types of jobs, including my current Assistant Manager position, gives me the opportunity to get to know strangers and to potentially turn one person’s bad day into a good one. I’m a big believer in doing what you love, which makes my work at Rí Rá worth it. When I’m not overseeing the rotational beers and the day-to-day activities of the restaurant, you can find me at the bar enjoying a Lagunitas IPA or (on a long day) one of the whiskeys in from our Georgetown Whiskey Room upstairs.
Community & Events Manager
After studying marketing and business at the University of Alabama, I traveled extensively growing my marketing and PR background. As of this past year, I decided to come back to my hometown of D.C. and continue my career here. With my love of Guinness and the last name O’Connor, I reckon I’ll fit right into the Rí Rá family! I look forward to welcoming you to the pub and organizing your next event or party!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
For International inquiries regarding J-1 training opportunities with Rí Rá in the USA, please send an email to email@example.com for more details.
Our Irish (J1) Mammy!
Jess Purgar takes our J1'ers under her wing (and sometimes leads them astray!).