McGowan’s Menu: Moloney’s Alley Irish Pub in Sault Ste. Marie

It’s an Irish pub in every sense of the word. Moloney’s Alley Irish Pub in Sault Ste. Marie has been in the same family now for 18 years.

It is steadily increasing the size of its menu, as well as the number of Michigan brewed craft beers it offers.

John McGowan stopped in for a look at some of the recent changes in both, in this week’s edition of McGowan’s Menu.

Abby Baker takes the pub part of her business very seriously. They recently increased the number of beer taps from 14 to 20. She’s excited about some of the new Michigan brews they offer, which include three from Shorts Brewing of Bellaire and plenty more.

“We’re also keeping Petoskey brews in town, and in stock now too; the Horny Monk and the Mind’s I.P.A. We’ve got Atwater’s Vanilla Porter. So, we’ve got 13 Michigan brewed beers on tap, and we’re hoping to have 15-16 by he end of the month.”

Abby’s mom has owned Moloney’s for 18 years. Abby has run it for the last four years, after graduating with a degree in marketing and business administration from nearby Lake Superior State. She says it’s only good business to take advantage of the fact that Michigan produces so many craft beers.

“And since they’re brewed here in our state, why not help our economy. They’re promoting more jobs that help the waitresses, the truck drivers, it’s a ya know. circle of life I guess,” says Abby. 

Moloney’s puts out a lot of meals, and they do it from this almost closet-sized kitchen. Phil Raimer, who’s been cooking here for almost two years, describes how they make the food preparation process work.

“Very strategically, I guess. Typically, we have two people, one guy stuck in front of the grill, and then another one stuck on the cold mine. So they stay there, and then we have runners, and then dishes, so it moves very deliberately, and just kind of work around everybody,” explains Phil. 

On the food side, some new burgers have come to the pub this spring. “We’ve got the Michigan Caramelized Apple Bacon Burger with smoked Gouda cheese. We’ve got a Bacon Avocado Burger with homemade strata mayo that’s very good,” said Katy.

And we can’t forget about one they call the Hangover Burger. Phil explains, “start off with burger, obviously, it’s got grilled onions on it, and then bacon, a fried egg, and then our house made bloody Mary. So, it’s got kind of a kick. We use U.V. Saracha Vodka in it, so the sauce puts a nice little spice in it.”

The pub also has a variety of steaks and seafood and an extremely popular whitefish, even if the cook isn’t much of a fish fan.

“Well, the Honey Dijon whitefish we put on some Dijon mustard, and then we top it with some breading, and then we just pan-fry it in butter. Until it’s golden brown, I personally haven’t tried it. I’m not a huge fish fan, but Abby always has it. If she has fish, she has the honey Dijon whitefish.”

Moloney’s has several big screen tv’s for watching sports, and its share of sports memorabilia. But Abby is most proud of some things brought in by local Coast Guardsmen, that proudly ride the walls of the pub.

“We have a Coast Guard base here in town, and they’ll bring in their buoys, and they’ll sign it. They usually spend their whole time here, while they’re here, in the meantime, after work and stuff. So we appreciate those who serve.”

As for the future, Abby says look for the menu to keep expanding, and she hopes to make it healthier. There are a number of salads already, but she wants to cater more to tourists, and the elderly. In the meantime, she says, they’re in business to make their customers happy.

“I hope that their belly is full, I hope they’re happy, and I hope they try the new beer that we have on tap. Give it a chance and I think they’ll be pleasantly surprised at the varieties that we have. And I hope they walk away happy.”

Moloney’s Alley Irish Pub is located in downtown Sault Ste. Marie on West Portage Street. They open at 11:00a.m.m, the kitchen closes at 11:00 p.m., but the bar is open until 2:00 a.m.