Byline: Chelsea Marquis, Staff Writer
Ireland does not feel far away when walking into Bull Feeney’s. From ceiling to floor, the authentic Irish decor welcomes patrons entering the front door. Rusted tin street signs that were found in Ireland adorn the walls, earthenware jugs and suitcases line the tops of the bar cabinet.
In several rooms, Irish songs and poems are scripted on the wall in Celtic font, surrounded by antiquated woodwork.
Doug Fuss opened Bull Feeney’s in 2002, and did much of the remodeling of the interior of the building. His vision was to make it feel like walking into Ireland. The upstairs bar, for instance, has an authentic slate roof above the bar, a potbelly stove, and stone floors to mimic an Irish cottage.
They serve Irish and American dishes made from scratch, along with two full bars and a tea room. It has been a mainstay for food, cheer, and live music in Portland throughout the years.
An unexpected feature of Bull Feeney’s is their tea room. Most associate Bull Feeney’s with their food, drinks and music, but hidden upstairs is a portal to what feels like a grandmother’s living room. Loose leaf tea is served in their tea room throughout the day.
Traditionally in Ireland, the Irish start their day with drinking tea, and consume it throughout the day.
The defining features of musical performances are their high energy and openness to participation.
“Music is a very important component to an Irish pub, it gets you sharing your experience with other people, because a pub is a place where people come and get together, they’re singing and dancing and enjoying their experience,” said Fuss when asked what the live music shows mean to him.
Those who know Irish or Scottish folk songs will be right at home, singing with the crowd. Most of the bands who play are acoustic folk, whether that be as a solo artist, a duo, or a trio.
With no cover charge, all are welcome to sit and listen to any musician playing. In addition to their acoustic performers, they feature early 2000’s cover bands every Thursday, with cheaper drinks being offered that night. They have an open mic night every week where musicians can experiment and collaborate with each other, and if interested, can try out to become part of the regular line up at Bull Feeney’s.
In what is called the Yates room, named for the poem “To a Child Dancing in the Wind” by W.B. Yates encircling the crown of the room, poetry slams are held every Tuesday and comedy shows every Wednesdays, also with no cover charge but donations are suggested. Free laughter, poetry, and music can’t be beat. Check out their full line up at http://www.bullfeeneys.com/calendar.html.