LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — A true slice of Ireland has come to Walt Disney World Resort with the opening of Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant at Downtown Disney Pleasure Island. Owned and operated by an Irish company, Raglan Road features the very best of authentic Irish food, drink, heritage and live entertainment.
The Irish culture is known for its warmth, character and hospitality, and Raglan Road delivers an experience immersed in genuine Irish ambiance. With capacity for 600 guests, Raglan Road is warm and welcoming with custom furnishings, lighting and wall coverings — all designed and built in Ireland by Irish crafts people. Irish antiques, ornamentation and bric-a-brac complete the authentic decor.
Four distinct antique bars, each more than 130 years old and imported from Ireland, serve as focal gathering areas. These grand fixtures were crafted from rich woods, such as mahogany and walnut, and feature marble adornments, leaded glass and ornate detailing. To complete the authenticity, and in keeping with tradition, a wide selection of cold, creamy and fresh Irish beers and fine Irish whiskies are served.
Traditional and contemporary Irish music, storytelling and dance help create a spirited social ambience, and the friendly pub staff brings Emerald Isle charm to Downtown Disney. Irish musicians entertain nightly and guests are encouraged to sing, clap and dance to the lively performances.
The restaurant’s gastronomic delights are the creation of Master Chef Kevin Dundon, one of Ireland’s best-known and most celebrated chefs. With training in Ireland, Switzerland and Canada, Dundon has cooked for celebrities and heads of state, including Queen Elizabeth. His credits also include opening an award-winning Irish hotel and restaurant, appearing in his own television series on UK Food Channel, making numerous national television appearances in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, authoring the cookbook Full On Irish and being invited to cook at the prestigious James Beard Foundation in New York.
The Raglan Road menu offers bistro-style Irish fare and fresh ingredients, all with a modern flair and Celtic creativity. Natural tastes, flavor and quality prevail in dishes such as Raglan Rack (rack of lamb on a delicate Irish stew consomme), Kevin’s Kudos (oven-roasted loin of bacon with an Irish mist glaze, served with braised cabbage and creamed potato) and Salmon of Knowledge (fresh grilled salmon with a hickory-scented maple sauce). Dinner reservations are available by calling 407/WDW-DINE.
For guests wanting food to go, Cooke’s of Dublin is a counter service location adjacent to Raglan Road where fish and chips and other quick and casual fare are available. There is also a retail location that offers Raglan Road and Irish-designed clothing and merchandise.
“We are thrilled to offer an authentic Irish pub to Downtown Disney,” said Kevin Lansberry, vice president of Downtown Disney. “The superior level of quality, authenticity and energy that this new venue brings is a perfect complement to Downtown Disney’s lineup of world-class retail, dining and entertainment.”
“Having built more than 400 Irish pubs, literally in the four corners of the world, we believe that this is our best expression yet,” said Paul Nolan, Raglan Road co-owner. “We are incredibly proud and excited to have the opportunity to bring a real slice of Ireland to Downtown Disney.”
The “real” Raglan Road is located on the south side of Dublin. It was made famous by renowned Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh in a love poem entitled, “The Dawning of the Day.” In the 1960s, Irish folk singer Luke Kelly first put the poem to music. “Raglan Road” has become a seminal Irish song and has since been covered by such artists as U2, Sinead O’Connor and Van Morrison. As a tribute to Patrick Kavanagh, a specially commissioned bronze sculpture of the poet sits outside Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant at Downtown Disney.
Raglan Road is owned and operated by Great Irish Pubs Florida, Inc., the Irish-owned company that previously created Nine Fine Irishmen at the New York-New York Hotel& Casino in Las Vegas.