Welcome to the Red Stag Pub

and Whiskey Bar

With authentic Irish and British Isles food made from scratch, a full bar, an extensive Irish and Scottish whisky menu, and a family-friendly atmosphere, McCarthy’s is THE place for a true Celtic experience in the Lehigh Valley. Created to preserve Irish family traditions and memories passed down through generations, it is a perfect place to celebrate life’s special events and everyday happenings.

A MESSAGE FROM NEVILLE

Since I grew up in Northern Ireland, in the village of Lambeg in County Antrim (10 miles from Belfast) where the influence of both Irish and Scottish cultures, cuisine and humour were fairly equal, it’s appropriate that my pub and restaurant would reflect this upbringing and background. We opened Granny McCarthy’s Tea Room and bakery back in 1997 to share the hospitality, foods and culture that I grew up with. The idea of growing the cafe into a pub was always a possibility in the back of my mind.  

Red Stag Pub | Bethlehem Pennsylvania Pub

For almost 15 years, the Cafe grew from a Bakery & Tea Room into a restaurant — minus the alcohol — following trends of great cafes like Betty’s Tea Room in Harrowgate in Northern England and the Avoca Cafe in Ireland.

Any guest or visitor to my house in Lambeg, County Antrim, had to be served a pot of tea and some kind of home baked treat. My Granny McCarthy, who did a lot of my rearing, made sure I knew the proper way to make the tea.

I was accustomed to providing hospitality (even at an early age) to anybody who came to my house. The origins of hospitality and recipes used at Granny McCarthy’s came from my upbringing, baking, and the personalities of my Mother and Grandmother — all the lessons and priorities I learned from my family.

In 2013, McCarthy’s morphed into McCarthy’s Red Stag Pub and Whiskey Bar — adding the Red Stag emblem from the McCarthy Coat of Arms to the name. The name change indicated our intention to keep our customers’ favourites, but we also had a vision to significantly expand our offerings.

We created our menu to become that of a true British Isles style Gastro Pub and Restaurant  — retaining the best qualities of the original Granny McCarthy’s Restaurant while adding more great family favourites and dishes inspired by Irish and Scottish cuisines.

The evolution is a unique blend of pub and restaurant with the desserts, breads and teas of a traditional Irish Tea Room in the space of a great destination — complemented by an amazing collection of whiskey, beer, and cocktails. Slainte!

Red Stag Pub | Bethlehem Pennsylvania Pub

A CELTIC DESTINATION: NO PASSPORT REQUIRED

Our vision for McCarthy’s Red Stag Pub was to give our guests an authentic experience of the Irish and Celtic culture that they could not find anywhere else in the Lehigh Valley (or elsewhere!). From the freshest homemade Irish food such as a boxty and scones, to our hand-selected loose tea and whiskeys (not to mention the live Celtic music!). Our mission is to provide a unique, stress-free dining atmosphere where friends come together.  Our warm, attentive service in a lively, fun atmosphere makes you feel right at home.

THE ORIGIN OF OUR  RECIPES 

Many of our original recipes came from a bundle of handwritten notes from my mother’s handbag that I found when she died. Many other recipes came from family members or friends.

The Brown Bread Pilgramage

When Granny McCarthy’s opened in 1997, I felt it was important to make the very BEST Brown (wheaten) Bread (outside of Ireland), so after a week of tasting brown bread ALL OVER IRELAND, we ended up with a recipe from The Lifeforce Mill in Cavan. Their wholemeal and oats were locally grown and ground to make their bread. Eventually we figured out our own mixture of locally grown organic grains right here in Pennsylvania (which we feel is second to none in the U.S.).  

Love our bread? We’ve developed our own fool-proof mix — not only for Brown Bread, but Soda Bread, Shortbread and also several of our scones. 

In our 20 years of existence, we have developed many great concepts based on traditional ideas, such as out Eggs Paddywac and The Punjab Paddy. These two breakfast dishes, which incorporate the Northern Ireland Potato Farl (in Scotland it’s a Potato or Tatty Scone), are variations on Eggs Benedict (we even offer a vegetarian version).  We offer our own Jamison Whiskey BarBQ sauce, and a Guinness Mustard Sauce, both of which are incredible on Chicken Wings or Chips (french fries, the Irish way).  We were required (naturally!) as an authentic Irish Pub to serve amazing Fish n’ Chips with a made-fresh Smithwicks’ Beer Batter, Bangers and Mash with our homemade onion gravy, and Cottage Pie (Shepherd’s Pie, made with beef).  

Sweet Traditions Made at the Pub

Since my mother’s family loved to bake, I grew up with fabulous home cooking, and especially great desserts. All of our breads and desserts are made onsite, and we use our knowledge of authentic Irish and British Isles Cuisine to develop new dishes and drinks on an ongoing basis. Our amazing selection of teas infuse our Creme Brulees and truffles. Pair anything with coffee from a french press —just as you could get it in Ireland.

The key to our cuisine is that it’s almost completely made from scratch and it’s a unique spin on the nouveau Irish/British Isles style (which has transformed itself completely in the past 20 years). The ideas of great Celtic chefs like Gordon Ramsey and Darina Allen, combined with my McCarthy family traditions, have been allowed us to create a dynamic menu with lots of fresh ideas.

Love our bread? We’ve developed our own fool-proof mix — not only for Brown Bread, but Soda Bread, Shortbread, and also several of our scones.

Meet the Red Stag Pub team

 

NEVILLE GARDNER

OWNER & FOUNDER
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ABOUT NEVILLE

Growing up in Lambeg, a small village 8 miles from Belfast, I was reared partly by my Granny McCarthy while my Mum went to work. I grew up surrounded by the foods and drinks that were typical of Ireland and, it turns out, the ones I’ve wanted to share with the community.  My Mum and Dad went to work early in life with no opportunity for advanced education because of their family circumstances and the outbreak of World War II.  

Even though my parents didn’t have an abundance of money, there was always food on the table including great breads, scones and baked goods.  

My Dad (Sammy) who loved to sing Irish Ballads — especially after a few bottles of Stout — allowed me a wee spot of Guinness on a Sunday in a tiny glass in front of our fireplace and I was dosed with Whisky Punch for a cold or a toothache. 

Sports have always been a huge part of my life, and because of my love for them, I managed to get a Grammar School Education by receiving a scholarship (which also enabled me to participate in all the sports I enjoyed).  My passion developed into a love of hockey (Field Hockey in USA), earning me a selection to play for Ireland Schools and Ulster at U-21 level.  A University Degree in Civil Engineering followed — at Queen’s University Belfast — which resulted in an opportunity to play competitive Hockey and travel all over Europe and the UK.  My hockey team came to America in 1978 and I met a hockey goalkeeper, Linda Shay who was playing in the ladies’ part of The Maple Leaf Tournament in Toronto, and the rest is history. I married her!

Working as an engineer in Pennsylvania, playing hockey in a NY-based league, and selling hockey equipment from a company in England soon convinced me I needed my own business.  When my Dad became terminally ill in Ireland, Donegal Square (the “sister” business to the Red Stag Pub) was born. The name came from the Georgian Square in Belfast where I worked for a short time after University.   

The new found freedom allowed me creative time to work with some Scottish and Irish descendants, locally dreaming up The Celtic Classic Festival. Celtic Classic is a totally cultural event designed to educate the local community about their Celtic roots through music, dance, food, and athletic events. For me, this became a way to positively influence the “troubles” back in Northern Ireland by illustrating how the two sides could celebrate each other’s Cultures.

Leaving engineering behind, and with my wife embarking on a law degree, festival food vending, taking tours to Ireland and Scotland and Celtic Band Management were added to my repertoire — among other adventures along the way. The idea of sharing the foods I grew up with morphed into Granny McCarthy’s Tea Room and Bakery in 1997.  The Tea Room eventually graduated into McCarthy’s Red Stag Pub and Whiskey Bar in 2013.  

The journey continues as we build a Celtic Destination, combining my culture and heritage, through shopping, food and drink, music and travel to Ireland and The Celtic Lands. It’s a long way from the little row house in Lambeg where I grew up, but my roots are the foundation of my “Why,” and provide me with a life fueled by passion for my sport, friends and family, business and heritage — which is the ultimate reward.

 

Cooking with Jill

 

JILL OMAN

EXECUTIVE CHEF &

GENERAL MANAGER

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ABOUT JILL

Age: 43 (but who really cares, right?)… Fell in love with cooking when I was a small child when I used to help my mom make her specialties. Things like chili, sugar cookies, dandelion salads with hot bacon dressing, and home made pies. She would trick us into eating our vegetables by smothering them with browned butter (I blame my ever expanding gut on this — thanks Mom!).

I have found that this principal holds true — give people something that tastes great and they will keep coming back! Add great service, a beautiful presentation and some cold alcoholic beverages, and who can say no?

You can apply this principal in all things that you cook. Start with what you like and go from there. It’s how the best chefs become inspired. They had a meal or an experience and fell in love. My instructors showed me how to hone that skill. My colleagues and peers inspired me to push my limits and Neville gave me the platform to soar. But it was my mother who first introduced a chubby little girl with blonde curls to the passion of cooking. I thank her for that everyday.

My favorite food group is Mexican (don’t judge, I know this is an Irish pub), but see above as to why it works!

Ivan Alicea - Red Stag Pub

 

IVAN ALICEA

ASSISTANT MANAGER

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ABOUT IVAN

Hey I’m Ivan — originally a New York native from Puerto Rican decent. I lived majority of my life, here in the Lehigh Valley.

My passion for people and energetic personality is why I enjoy the restaurant business. I’ve dedicated 17+ years at Fegley’s Brew Works where I pursued my passion for beer brewery. Im a Master Cicerone with an extensive background in beer integration. Recently, I became a Whiskey Ambassador, one of two with a score of 100%.

I enjoy video editing and videography. Im a Boardmember at National Sokols Bethlehem for 10+ years.

I’m the newest member of The Management Team at McCarthy’s.  Let’s Make Dreams Come True!

 

SHERRY MOORE

BAR MANAGER

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ABOUT SHERRY

Hello, I’m Sherry — originally from Southern Georgia. I was adopted at birth by an amazing couple that raised me as their own.

I’ve lived up and down the East Coast. Spent many of my years in Miami Florida, the melting pot of culture, cuisine, sun, and fun. Miami is where I fell in love with the restaurant industry — the hustle and bustle — where no two days are ever the same.

Some of my hobbies are surfing, (in my younger days chasing hurricanes), rollerblading, cooking, and sewing.  I came to The Lehigh Valley in 2002.
My knowledge of hand crafted cocktails, liquor cost, and laws are my strong suites.

I’m the newest member of The Management Team at McCarthy’s.  It’s my new adopted home and I couldn’t be happier.

 

CORINNE WALSH

PASTRY CHEF

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ABOUT CORINNE
Hey folks, I’m Corinne! My love of baking came about when I began sharing homemade cookies with my friends in school (with reactions like “these are just like my grandma’s!” you know you nailed it!)
 
 I was accepted at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island and earned degrees in Baking and Pastry Arts and Food Service Management with a concentration in Beverage Service Management (because sometimes you need a little booze with your bakes.) Since then I’ve been a Girl Scout camp kitchen aid, a barista/sandwich maker/MBTA ticket seller at a train station, and a special event caterer; and I’m truly so excited to be part of the team here at McCarthy’s.
 

I love how “from scratch” our approach to food is. It’s something that kept me coming back as a customer and something that I take a lot of pride in as part of the Stag Staff. We get to play with new flavors and techniques while honoring traditions and family recipes to give patrons a completely unique experience that you can’t find anywhere else in the Lehigh Valley. So whether you’ve never visited us before or you’re a regular, come swing by the scone case and see what treats I’ve got to offer. I promise whatever you choose will leave you coming back for more!

 

GLENN SHAY

LIQUIDS & SPIRITS

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ABOUT GLENN

In February of 19__ I was born in Reading, PA — the son of a preacher man (Moravian) and a registered nurse. Shortly after I was born, our family moved to Bethel, Alaska to serve in a mission field. After 5 years there, we moved to Hope, Indiana and then eventually to Indianapolis where I met my future bride, Carolyn.

I eventually proved that I was not ‘college material’ at Moravian College and lost my  2S student deferment. This made me eligible to play in the 1960’s version of the “Hunger Games”.  I represented team USMC for 4 years and then went back to Indianapolis to join my wife in her pursuit of her degree in veterinary medicine. We both graduated from Purdue University with different degrees, hers as a doctor, mine in supervision (I married up).

After 30+ years of working together in Carolyn’s Veterinary Clinic, we decided to slow down a little. Carolyn now does only the work she enjoys, volunteering  at a Wellness Center with no emergency work, and she even finds time to relax and enjoy her various quilting projects.  She also enjoys spending time with our daughter, Makaila, who is working on completion of her high school pursuits.

I, on the other have had been bartending in Indianapolis for the last 10+ years at various venues from sporting events (Colts, Indians, NASCAR, Indianapolis 500), concerts, and special events with several caterers in the area.

Then I get the ‘offer you can’t refuse’ from my sister Linda. You know, that little girl that Neville had the good sense to marry 38+ years ago.  “So come out to Bethlehem where we are starting to change the tea room into a pub. We need your help. It will be fun.” she said.

Well, she was right. It is fun. I enjoy working with the entire management team at the Red Stag Pub. Everyone does their part to make the pub a great place to work and spend time, whether ‘on the clock’ or not.  Everyone does their part to create positive energy and make it happen.  Jill and Neville provide leadership and coaching to bring out the best in everyone. I enjoy working to make the bar perform as efficiently as possible, while exploring new opportunities for the pub at off-site venues.  

In the future, we plan to continue and expand our monthly whisky tastings — as well as offer special dinners and events.  I’m thankful for the opportunity to be an integral part of this great team, especially while I continue to work and reside in Indianapolis.  I couldn’t do it without them.  I also bear the title “road warrior”.

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Red Stag Pub