SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. - Irish eyes are certainly smiling on Thos. O’Reilly’s Public House. Owner Butch Elmgren took over and rebranded the long time Sandy Springs staple, Meehans, just about the time the COVID-19 pandemic hit and changed the entire industry.
Despite the challenging timing, through creativity and hard work, O’reilly’s has learned to adapt, overcome, and thrive. More on their ‘Leave a meal’ program for first responders in a bit, but first let’s talk about that burger. I mean, this is #BurgersWithBuck, and that is what we do, right?
Their signature burger starts with a great Irish themed name, the Dublin Down Burger. It starts with two thin lamb patties, seasoned with onions and peppers and topped with Irish cheddar cheese and curry mayo (yes you read that right). According to Elmgren, Curry is quite popular in Ireland and it definitely gives this burger a very unique flavor. Add lettuce, tomato, and onion, and serve it all on a brioche bun, and there you have it…The Dublin Down Burger.
Now back to their leave a meal program. The leave a drink program was a long-standing tradition at this Irish pub/restaurant long before Elmgren took over, and it is one of the things that he decided to continue. The way it works, you can buy/leave a drink for another patron, and the next time they come in (be it a day, a week, a year, etc.), they can claim that drink and toast your generosity. The gesture never expires.
During the To-Go only restrictions during the height of the pandemic locally, that sense of community building program evolved into an opportunity to leave a meal for first responders. In other words, patrons were able to leave a meal as a gift for on-duty first responders. So when they were allowed to reopen dine-in service, they were also able to partner with some corporate sponsors and expand the program. Now in addition to feeding the on-duty first responders, they are now able to deliver directly to hospitals, medical centers, 911 call centers, police and fire departments, etc.
The program is set up through both their app and their website so that people can donate individual meals, and businesses or corporations can donate blocks of meals. It is a classic win-win. And if you add the Dublin Down Burger, it makes it a win-win-win!
And, as always, if you have a favorite burger that you would like to see featured on, tell me about it on my Facebook page or on Twitter, and don’t forget to use the hashtag #BurgersWithBuck and/or #BWB