Llywelyn’s: Celtic For Good Times

by J.B. Lester
Healthy Planet magazine publisher/editor

A group of us from The Healthy Planet magazine recently attended a 4 Hands Brewing Co. Beer Dinner & Taste hosted by Llywelyn’s Pub in Webster Groves. Culinary director Greg Marshall put together a four-course tasting of items such as grilled chicken, seafood cakes, blacked fresh snapper and grilled oatmeal brown bratwurst wrapped in applewood bacon. All entrees were in some way cooked, garnished or marinated with one of 4 Hands Brewing Company’s craft beers. The meal, served with salads, grilled vegetables, delicious sauces and glazes and four different desserts, created a treasure for the taste buds. And each course was delightfully paired with one of 4 Hands craft beers, such as Single Speed Session, Reprise Centennial Red, Divided Sky Rye IPA and Cast Iron Oatmeal Brown. I can sum up the evening in three letters … YUM!

This outing was just one of many such culinary and community events hosted by Llywelyn’s Pub. A few nights after our Beer Dinner, the Lester clan stopped in for a family meal and found the pub offering a delicious buffet to help raise money for a local Irish dance studio. If you visit England, Ireland, Scotland or Whales, you will find that the local pub is the center of activity in the community. And Llywelyn’s is creating that community “pub” feeling here on our side of the pond. Whether you want to try one of their 30 beers on tap or 30 by the bottle, Llywelyn’s is the place to wet your whistle, watch the big game or hold your own event in one of their special party or banquet rooms.

Llywelyn’s offers all the traditional pub fare you want: bangers & mashed, Welsh chips, shepherd’s pie, Irish Stew or fish & chips. But never fear, there is a great assortment of salads for the lighter side with chicken or salmon, and my favorite the new and improved house salad which includes mixed greens combined with white cheddar cheese, English cucumber, grape tomatoes and sunflower seeds. You can also enjoy a delicious meal of unique flatbreads and soups including Llywelyn’s award-winning white chicken chili or their Celtic onion soup. For the burger bunch, there are some unique and tasty selections of beef on a toasted bun or English muffin. My wife Niki likes the “Monarch”, a selection of Kobe beef, havarti cheese, and bacon on a toasted onion roll. Llywelyn’s even has a Black Bean Burger, a vegetarian blend of chipotle spiced black beans and veggies pan-seared and topped with sautéed peppers and onions and all served on a ciabatta roll.

Starters include Welsh potato chips, fried Irish Pies, Irish Mussels, Welsh Rarebit, and more. The sandwich menu includes tasty reubens, chicken salad, pulled pork, and the Famous steak and cheese. There’s even an “Adult Grilled Cheese” for those vegetarians in the group to complement their salad. How about a beer battered cod sandwich for your fish on Fridays? And to top off your meal, a great Celtic menu would not be complete without bread pudding. It’s the best! There’s way too much on the menu to list here of course, so I suggest you drop by one of the four St. Louis locations and choose a pub for yourself. And if you didn’t make it to London for the Olympics this year, or if you’ve not been for a visit to the British Isles of late, I can tell you Llywelyn’s Pub is the next best thing.

A brief history: Llywelyn’s Pub was opened in St. Louis in 1975 at 4747 McPherson by Jack Brangle. Along with Balabans and Duff’s restaurant, it marked the beginning of the present day Central West-End business district. In 1997, the present ownership of Llywelyn’s, Chris Marshall, Scott Kemper and Brett Bennett, acquired the Pub. The theme was expanded to include both Irish and Scottish selections and Llywelyn’s became a “Celtic” Pub. In 2003, Llywelyn’s opened in an old converted machine shop in historic Webster Groves. An old Gaslight Square bar along with a giant vaulted ceiling are the main features to the Pub. A few years later the restaurant added a banquet room with its own full-service bar that is used for both parties and additional restaurant seating.

The Soulard area was the next target for expansion with the opening of a Llywelyn’s Pub at the corner of Soulard Avenue and Ninth Street. Opened in the Winter of 2006, the Pub features two full-service bars and is a great place to pre-party before any downtown events. In 2010, Llywelyn’s Pub opened it’s doors on Main Street in Historic St. Charles. Placed in the old National Bank Building, the pub features seating in the old vault and an expansive patio overlooking the Missouri River. Another pub was opened in the village of WingHaven in O’Fallon, Missouri in the spring of 2011.

Llywelyn’s pub is a great place to listen to music, play darts, watch the Cardinals, Blues or Rams win a game, meet family or friends for lunch, dinner or just enjoy a pint of your favorite ale and discuss the events of the day.

Remember, “Llywelyn’s is Celtic for Good Times!” So come for a visit and raise your glass! For Llyeweln’s locations, hours, specials and events, please visit www.llywelynspub.com.