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Confessions of a Dive Bar Lover and The Shamrock of Huntington

What's not to love?

I have a confession.  I have lived in Huntington, Huntington Bay to be exact, for 10+ years and have NEVER once stepped into The Shamrock.  It has held for me, over the years, a level of mystery and allure comparable to, believe it or not, The Valencia.  What goes on in those places, why so popular and most importantly, what on earth could their decor be like?  Well, I quenched my Valencian curiosity when my friends and I ventured in one cold winter’s night.  No surprises here:   big, inviting, no-nonsense bar and bartender.  A place saturated with years of poured and spilt alcohol and populated by a cross section of all that our great town of Huntington has to offer.  Added pluses, it has a killer shuffle board table, plenty of room to spare and a well endowed bull at its door to greet you.  My curiosity was officially appeased.  I have never been back as I don’t imbibe.  But if I did, this is a watering hole that would be close to my heart.  I’m a no frills sort of gal, (at least in my own mind) and this is the sort of place that brings me back to The Lower East Side of my 20’s where dives* were a plenty, non mechanized games were offered (pool and dartboards) and the liquor was cheap.  Still, my wonder of local-joints-with-staying-power was not fully satiated.  I pass by The Shamrock EVERY DAY, at least 4 times a day.  That’s a lot.  One recent evening, my husband suggested we go to The Shamrock.  He heard they made a killer burger.  His quest for the best burger to the best veal chop and everything in between has no limits: Arthur Avenue, Jackson Heights, City Island, Hicksville….if it offers the best of that something he might be pining for, we go; we roll like that.  The Shamrock it was.  We walked in and the imaginary choir music played in our heads (you know, like when you have an epiphany about something or someone).  We looked at the place, the waitress, then each other and high fived:  cozy, woodsy, with booths AND flat screens.  How could we NOT have ventured in here after all these years?  Well, at times it IS difficult to find parking, but not impossible.   And all those lawn chairs queued up on warm summer days with all those happy smokers – that wasn’t enough to put me off.  Who knew they served food and really good food for those with a peasant’s palate like my own?  Everyone, but us it seems.  Peter’s burger….pret – ty perfect.  Home made deeply fried potato chips…gorgeous…Fresh roasted turkey club (my barometer of a worthy restaurant – processed vs. REAL turkey)…just right….home made chocolate layer cake…. happy ending.   Kevin, The Shamrock’s owner, stopped by our table to say hello.  We confessed we had never been into The Shamrock for the 10 years that we have lived only 1 mile from its front door for no other reason than just, well, no reason.  He simply said, “Welcome, don’t be strangers.”  I confess, I love that… I love the simple pleasures of our town.

*term of endearment

The Shamrock is located at 138 New York Avenue, Halesite, NY 11743-2150 ( in the same shopping center as Junior’s Pizza and TK’s Galley)

phone: (631) 427-4221

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