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WCCO Viewers' Choice For Best Irish Pub In Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Even if you're not Irish, at some point you probably want to be.

"At least on St. Patty's Day!" said Kelly Allen, who owns Red's Irish Pub with her husband, Bryan.

After figuring out they weren't so good at being retired, Bryan and Kelly decided to open their own Irish Pub in their hometown of Swanville.

But what to name it?

"I was born with red hair...being a little Irish," Bryan said. "So one of my uncles started calling me Red. And it stuck throughout school."

Red's seemed to be a perfect fit, and school was also when the Allen love story first started.

"I was playing football and she was cheerleading," Bryan said. "It was my junior year, her senior year. So yes, she's older than I am. I wasn't very good, so I spent a lot of time on the sidelines. We were good friends and started dating later on."

As they say, the rest is history.

Now they do just about everything together.

"Our gifts are different," Kelly said. "Bryan is great at the books, and I am not. But I love waitressing and bartending, mixing drinks."

Besides serving up good food and Irish drinks, Red's is known for live music -- something that was important to the Allens.

"That was something we always did, attended or went to when we were younger," Kelly said. "And we missed it."

But Red's Irish Pub isn't just a watering hole.

"Sometimes it acts as more of a community center than it does a pub, which is nice," Bryan said.

The pub hosts everything from an upcoming street dance to high school fundraisers.

"Right now, we are starting to raise money to purchase 15 guitars for our music department," Bryan said. "I loved band, live music, and I'd like to see these younger kids grow up with a guitar or piano."

Bryan and Kelly follow one simple rule: Treat people well, and they will treat you well.

"I truly feel like we are the luckiest people in the county," Bryan said. "We surround ourselves with such good people in the area, not only Swanville but the surrounding area. The local community supports us, and we try to support them. Life is really good this way."

Good for the Allens, and good for Swanville.

"Good or bad, it's one big family," Bryan added.

Red's Irish Pub in Swanville will be hosting a street dance with live music, food and drinks on Saturday, Aug. 13.

Your other favorite Irish pubs are Padua Pub in Sauk Centre and Hayes Public House Brewery and Taproom in Buffalo.

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