Feeling a Bit Irish?

Appears in the March 2024 issue.

By Peter Gianopulos

Quigley’s Irish Pub

Celebrating St. Patty’s Day at Quigley’s Irish Pub (43 E. Jefferson Ave., Naperville) comes with one caveat: “We do not,” managing partner Andy Nosek emphasizes, “sell green beer.”

This year will mark Quigley’s 25th year. Back in 1998, owner Nancy Quigley, daring lass that she is, decided that downtown Naperville might benefit from having a true Irish pub. So she went all in on building one the right way. She had plans drawn up by Irish craftsmen, who built the interior of the pub back in the old country and then shipped it over here in boxes, for her team to reassemble, piece by piece.

Every St. Patty’s Day, Quigley’s keeps its own traditions, none of which includes staining anything green. The kitchen pairs down its menu, focusing on its best hits. Corned beef galore. Guinness barbecue wings. Potato-leek soup. Irish chips smothered in a homemade Thousand Island-esque Killarney sauce spiked with brandy. And of course one brilliant dessert: doughnuts dipped in Jameson chocolate sauce.

At some point during the day, the Highland Guard of Naperville band will march into the pub, boots stompin’, bagpipes pipin’, and perform a live show for the crowd. “Everyone stops their conversation; it’s just a sea of cameras when they come in,” Nosek says. “It’s a beautiful thing.”


Photo: Jen Banowetz