Melrose is the Little Ireland of Iowa. Of course, if you are going to be the Little Ireland...you better have an Irish pub. For Melrose, that spot is Feehan's Pub.
Whether or not you are the Little Ireland or not, every small town needs a place for people to gather to share a meal, beverage, or the latest gossip. I always know I'm going to be in one of those kinds of places when I see a bulletin board near the entrance with lots of business cards and other announcements. Places like Feehan's are the lifeblood of a community.
On a recent swing through Monroe and Appanoose Counties, which included visiting the town square in Albia, The Highway Restaurant, Welcome Home Soldier Memorial, Honey Creek Resort, Iconium, The Red Barn Saloon, and the sites of Melrose, a friend and I popped into Feehan's Pub for a late Sunday afternoon snack.
While not a huge restaurant, it has a nice industrial feel with a number of different seating options from seats at the bar to various types of tables.
They have a nice menu of options. This is exactly the kind of menu you would expect at any small town restaurant, cafe, or bar in rural Iowa.
I had the soft pretzels for $5.00. Very delicious. I would recommend.
There is a very nice shuffle board along one of the walls. The woman working that evening said they sometimes have a shuffle board league come in from time to time.
I found a touch tunes for those who want to make sure certain songs end up on the playlist,
There was some great character in the decoration choices. Monroe County is certainly cattle country and it appears that a number of area farmers have put their cattle brand into a piece of wood that has been nailed to the wall. I liked that touch.
This sign by the men's and women's bathroom made me chuckle. Is it true?
I loved that the men's restroom had some serious hand cleaner soap in there. More restaurants should go this route.
Of course, if you need a souvenir to remember your visit to Iowa's Little Ireland, Feehan's has some branded merchandise for sale.
I need to get back to Feehan's sometime to try more of the menu. By the time my friend and I departed around 5pm on a Sunday, the place was pretty full of folks. It's definitely a great community hangout. I am sure it would be a fun place to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in a few weeks.
As always, I welcome your suggestions of places to visit and profile whether in Monroe County or any of the other 98 counties in Iowa. If you have a good idea or would like to host the Iowa Adventurer, please drop me a note through my website.