Bar profile: Digger & Finch
As golfers begin to dust off their clubs again, the driving range can be an ideal place to smooth out a rusty swing. And if a trip to the tees leads to slicing balls at your peers and muttering profanities, the range beside Digger & Finch offers another tranquil pastime: sipping a pint in the bar.
"In the summer especially, some do [drink] before, during and after golfing," said Jeremy Tanger, general manager of Digger & Finch, the restaurant and bar connected to the Golf Centre of Dublin. The center features a covered driving range and, when weather allows, a putting green and chipping and pitching area.
But the upscale Scottish pub next door is a destination itself. Digger & Finch's stone, pergola-anchored facade is wrapped by tan siding, burgundy trim and a tall pitched roof. Neighborhood folk and nearby white-collar professionals sit leisurely in the cherry-hued pub, which is adorned with homey antiques and stained glass.
"It's cozy. They like the fireplace in the winter and the patio in the summer," said Kat Hutchinson, bar manager.
The pub's roomy patio features a grill, a second bar and a sweeping view of the golfers at play. When Friday nights warm up, the outdoor area hosts live blues, jazz and classic-rock bands.
The four-year-old pub's recently debuted happy hour helps lure in an after-work crowd. Specials include $4 Smirnoff martinis and $4 appetizers like Sauerkraut Balls and Fish Fingers - blackened strips of cod, salmon and the catch of the day served with a spicy mayo dipping sauce.
Digger & Finch's copper bar top is usually lined with glasses of beer like Harp, Smithwick's and Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald ($4.75). Tanger, an avid Scotch enthusiast, is happy to talk to patrons about their selection of fine single malts, such as 21-year-old Aberfeldy ($26). He usually steers newcomers toward sampling a Scotch flight (starting at $12).
The pub's hearty menu and rotating lunch and dinner specials provide a range of comfort food. Popular midday bites include the Beer & Cheddar Soup ($3.75) and Finch's Meatloaf Sandwich ($11), served on Texas toast with onion straws and BBQ sauce.
Dinner options at Digger & Finch consist of offerings like Fresh Walleye ($19), Glasgow Pork Chops ($17) and Scotland Yard's Guinness Shepherd's Pie ($14), a slightly stouty homestyle favorite. The pub also hosts full-featured breakfast buffets ($15) on Sundays.
If you gorge yourself, you can always hit some balls outside to burn off the calories.
Digger & Finch
6720 Riverside Dr., Dublin
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday
Happy Hour: 3-7 p.m. Monday-Friday: $3.50 import drafts, $3.50 select wines, $5 Belvedere mixers