The Joyce Brings the Irish
The Joyce Brings the Irish The Joyce Pub and Grill is local favorite STORY by Kass Fincher Irish novelist and poet James Joyce appreciated the allure of a glass of spirits. “The light music of whiskey falling into a glass – an agreeable interlude,”he wrote.
In Leland’s Brunswick Forest, the Joyce Pub and Grill pays homage to the poet and his Irish culture with an authentic, creative menu and a variety of beers from around the world. Opening in May of 2016, the Pub has enjoyed an enthusiastic response from the community. Manager Laura Richardson runs the place with her fiance, owner Scott Moore. Moore also owns Flights – the wine bar beside the Pub – and Slainte in Southport. The wine bar Flights relocated from the Southport area at about the same time as the Joyce opened. Moore is originally from England, so he strives to provide the authentic food, drink and atmosphere of the pubs he grew up with. His strategy must be working; the customer base is growing and loyal. “We’ve been very happy with our response – we’ve got everything right here in Brunswick Forest,” says Richardson. “People especially love the big patio – it’s a great outdoor spot in warm weather.” The patio is huge, and starting this month it will host live music on Fridays and Saturdays, continuing until October. “The kickoff is Saint Patrick’s Day,” Richardson relates. “We go all out, with bagpipes, bounce houses for the kids, swag for everyone. It’s a lot of fun.” The Pub employs about 25 people, most of whom have been working there since it opened. They share a kitchen with Flights next door. Chef Earl Rush and assistant Marby Jurkovac concoct the authentic Irish dishes, some of which have a unique twist. The homemade Buffalo Sauce has bleu cheese as an ingredient, giving it an interesting creamy texture. It’s the main attraction in the Buffalo Chicken Dip, a perennial favorite. Another popular appetizer is Pork Nachos, made with homemade jalapeno beer cheese, homemade barbecue sauce, onions and tomatoes. The House Salad and Cobb Salad are newly reinvented and very popular. Also fairly new to the menu are some of the burgers and specialty sandwiches. The Buffalo Burger is eight ounces of Angus beef topped with buffalo sauce, bleu cheese, jalapenos and fried onion straws. The Forest Chicken sandwich (named for Brunswick Forest, not free-range chickens in the woods) is grilled and topped with feta, sauteed spinach, roasted red peppers and a pesto aioli on a kaiser roll. The Bacon Jam Burger is unique, with a homemade sweet/spicy jam made from bacon, onions and a touch of alcohol, of course. Entrees like the Bacon Jam Meatloaf, Fish and Chips, Shepherd’s Pie and Steak and Guinness Pie (on a puffed pastry shell) round out the most popular choices on the menu. And why not finish off the meal with homemade Irish Creme on the rocks? The Joyce is open every day of the week. Wednesday nights are for Trivia, a popular pastime for their patrons. And Sunday brunch from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. is a new and welcome addition. The long hours and multiple restaurant locations keep Moore and Richardson busy, but they still manage to keep up with their two children – Ethan and Harper, ages 3 and 1 ½. “If I could bottle their energy, Lord, I’d be a rich person,” laughs Richardson. When asked what makes the Pub special, Richardson relates, “We just aim to have a good time; it’s a super laid-back atmosphere. We’re the only Irish pub in the area, and we have great support from the community. We strive to be authentic; we play Irish music all day every day, which sometimes drives me crazy,” she says with a laugh. Beyond the Leland locals, a number of Irish residents from Wilmington enjoy patronizing the Joyce. They must certainly enjoy the Irish lilts, not to mention the bacon jam burgers.
The Joyce Pub and Grill 1174 Turlington Avenue Leland, NC
Monday-Sunday 11 a.m. - 2 a.m.