Although I missed the actual Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting on July 6 (I arrived a little late; the ribbon-cutting photo on this page was taken by Steve Miller of Stephen John Photography), Irish 31 owner Jay Mize and general manager Mike Forsyth were on hand for it — as was former Tampa Bay Lightning star and New Tampa resident Brian Bradley (who works for the Lightning; he gave away some cool memorabilia), as hundreds of people found their way inside to check out the cool décor, the unique menu and the South Tampa vibe of Mize’s newest Irish 31.
I have only sampled a few items so far on Irish 31’s chef-driven menu, but I did enjoy the boneless wings with Thai chili sauce and the corned beef and cabbage and loaded “boxty” (almost tennis-ball-sized balls of mashed potatoes, mixed with generous helpings of corned beef and cabbage, or bacon, Velveeta cheese and chives, and fried to a golden brown), served with an “Emerald Isle” dipping sauce.
Also among our favorites, at least so far.: The fried zucchini appetizer, the Ploughman’s salad (mixed greens, bacon, roma tomato, hard-boiled egg, bleu cheese, candied pecans and avocado tossed in Irish 31’s really tasty Guinness vinaigrette) and the “Farmer’s Fried chicken — two boneless chicken breasts breaded with seasoned flour, then fried golden brown, and served with mashed potatoes and onion gravy, with a nice side of fresh market vegetables.
For more information about Irish 31 (28358 Willett Way), visit Irish31.com or call (813) 907-2306. Irish 31 is open every day at 11 a.m. (at 10 a.m. on Sun.) and stays open until midnight Sun.-Wed., until 1 a.m. on Thur. and until 2 a.m. on Fri. and Sat. I haven’t checked it out yet for live music or for Sunday brunch, but the website claims that Irish 31 is renowned as one of the best brunch spots in the Tampa Bay area!