Ireland’s Four Courts Makes a Comeback

by Katie Pyzyk August 2, 2011 at 11:45 am 7,003 42 Comments

(Updated at 2:55 p.m.) More than three months ago, fire ravaged Ireland’s Four Courts (2051 Wilson Blvd) in Courthouse. But like a phoenix, the pub is about to emerge from the ashes.

The February fire gutted the kitchen, back halls and roof, forcing the pub to resort to a limited menu of mostly cold foods. Only being able to open a portion of the restaurant meant they were bringing in about 40 percent of the usual business.

The damage was more significant than anticipated, requiring many repairs in order to reopen. General Manager Dave Cahill (who hails from Limerick, Ireland) says that prompted the decision to redevelop and modernize the entire pub. Some of the changes include new hardwood and tile floors, new wood paneling and paint on the walls, a new main bar, a redone party area and the addition of a deck in the back. There are also new beers on tap, new glassware to be used with each specialty beer and an expanded scotch and whiskey list.

Four Courts also hired a new chef — Joel Lucas — who had previously worked at McCormick & Schmick’s and Chef Geoff’s. He’s been developing an updated menu. Lucas and Cahill said they will still serve the standard Irish dishes that Americans are familiar with, like corned beef and cabbage. However the revamped menu will include new items, several of them reflecting Ireland’s seafood offerings, such as scallops or salmon.

Lucas pointed out that the pub features “from scratch cooking” and fresh produce grown locally in Virginia. Customers will also see gourmet cheeses made at Cahill’s family farm in Ireland topping some dishes.

Despite all the changes, Cahill stresses that Four Courts will still have the same feel of a traditional Irish pub, but with a fresher look. He and Lucas have spent a lot of time and money studying pubs in Ireland, trying to mimic specific points of authenticity in both ambiance and fare.

“We want people to feel like they’re actually in a pub in Ireland when they come here,” Cahill said.

Tomorrow, Ireland’s Four Courts will start serving its expanded menu. A full grand re-opening is scheduled for August 31. The Four Courts website has the pub’s new hours and menu. More photos, after the jump.

  • bluemontguy

    Good, now I can finally have more Irish food.

    • Babs Thighs


      • PikerShorts

        Obviously never eaten good Irish food

        • bluemontguy

          Has anyone?

          • PikerShorts

            There is a lot more to Irish food than just corned beef and cabbage. I spent a few weeks in Ireland in 2006 and had some great food. Mussels, clams, amazing smoked trout and even

            Also the Full Irish breakfast at O’Sullivans is excellent. Their black and white pudding is great. Never tried the menu at Four Courts but have already been impressed by the offerings at Beckett’s though they are a bit over priced. The lamb burger is very good as well as the fish and chips. The batter was very light and not overly greasy.

            Just give the Full Breakfast at O’Sullies a shot. The black and white pudding are insane!

  • Nice to see Flying Dog on tap. Never understood their love affair with Peroni.

    Don’t hate on 4C!

  • spoons

    Don’t worry, they didn’t alter the wing recipe.

    • I hear they’re adding a French Dip just for you, Spoons.

      • spoons

        I’ll try to talk to them and get them to add a 4 loco tap for you.

  • Scott Davis

    I can’t imagine anyone wanting to sit on that back deck overlooking that trashy parking lot that always stinks.

    • david

      That was the first thing I thought when I read that they were opening a deck in the back. The pools of trash water that form all over that lot can’t smell good in the summer.

  • JamesE

    completely unrelated, but going west on Wilson right in front of Four Courts has to be the worst time lights in the history of mankind. One turns green and the other just stays red for an eternity causing people to just sit in the intersection, then the first turns red before anyone can get through.

    • ArlingtonCountyTaxpaer

      it is a deliberate attempt to slow traffic (seriously) at the request of the civic association. Personally, it makes me want to go down to 15th, and over to Barton and then 10th. it is a pain in butt.

      • Babs Thighs

        Blast your speakers through your neighborhood. Revenge is fun.

    • mapchick

      There is also that one random parking spot almost in front of Four Courts that in the middle of that intersection. I love trying to park there. It’s almost always open because I don’t think people realize it’s a spot.

    • LVGuy

      It’s also a pretty complicated intersection. I think that has more to do with it than anything.

    • TuesdaysChild

      Intersection is a total mess. I always loop around through Colonial Village to Veich.

  • dave schutz

    You got to admire these guys: ‘…spent a lot of time and money studying pubs in Ireland, trying to mimic specific points of authenticity in both ambiance and fare…’

    I see HUGE deductions from their income taxes for the business expense of going to bars in Ireland. It’s a great country, no?

  • yrb

    This place has nothing in common with real Irish pubs.

    • bluemontguy

      Such as not being in Ireland?

      • Frank the Tank

        Well that . . . and some other stuff.

  • Annie Grondin

    Best luck to 4Court, you put a lot of efforts in it and I am sure it’s going to work out well!!

  • R.Griffon

    That’s really great as that place was getting kinda run down and dated IMHO. Lemons into lemonade.

    • bluemontguy

      And then into beer and you’ve got a shandy!

  • CrystalMikey

    Four Courts rocks…glad everything’s almost done.

    • PikerShorts

      Can’t wait to try the new menu

  • Helen

    Good luck to David and all in The Four Courts. Excited to see Cahill’s Porter Cheese on the menu!

  • TC

    New menu with new prices to cover the repairs… won’t eat there anymore… use to be able to get a nice sized shepard’s pie for lunch years ago when it opened for only 8.99… now adays it’s $12.99 and a smaller portion… ditto the chicken pot pie…

    • RosslynBoom

      yep, bye bye 4 couuuuurts! hopefully!

    • Swag

      In other news, inflation exists.

  • jc

    i just check the menu this is an irish pub not a fancy restaurant is not a small plate restaurant, the prices are too high reuben $11 that’s crazy good luck dave the

  • Steve

    No sm oking section, then no me being there.

  • Jonoe

    Good Luck 4 cs, always a great place for a nite out and now the new menu looks delicious. Congrats on the new chef. Cant wait to try the new grub. I have to disagree with some comments, this does resemble an Irish bar in Ireland, they are staying true to their roots, I promise you – I am from Ireland…

  • MC

    They sent someone to Ireland to learn how to cook Buffalo Wings?

  • Best of luck to Dave and Jimmy.
    See you all there soon.
    Looking forward to trying the new menu.


  • It’s great to see this pub’s comeback. We’ve missed four courts and are excited about the new menu, way to go guys! Great good, beer- and clearly great mgmt, too. Can’t wait, go 4 courts!!

  • Chels

    The portions on all the pies are so much bigger now, and it’s obvious that they aren’t buying frozen food any more. They are making it in house now.

  • Guiness

    Prices are to high at this place… ever since the expansion they jacked them up.

    • Tabby

      I’ll take an “N” for $500, Pat.

      • Tabby

        And an “O”

  • Pingback: Ireland’s Four Courts Rolls Out New Post-Fire Menu, New Chef()

  • Shane McCahill

    They really need to give out more free samples- especially of the Mac n Cheese.


Subscribe to our mailing list