Irish pub owner brings spirit of Ireland to Ohio

CLEVELAND — Patrick Campbell is a lover of all things Irish: Irish dancing, music and culture. He was a professional Irish dancer as a young man and now teaches Irish dance to the youth of northeast Ohio. 

What You Need To Know

  • Fun activities for St. Patrick’s Day are planned all around the state, especially at Irish pubs
  • The co-owner of P.J. McIntyre’s in Cleveland moved to Ohio from Ireland in 2007
  • The authentic Irish pub is hosting Irish dancers, bands, bagpipers and serving Irish breakfast on St. Patrick’s Day
  • The first 100 people to enter the pub receive a free limited edition T-shirt 
  • The pub staff is also giving away a free trip to Ireland for two people 

“It’s fantastic, fantastic to be, to be Irish,” Campbell said. 

Campbell is a first-generation Irish-American who has roots from County Mayo, Ireland, where his parents are from. He lived in Dublin, Ireland, for two years while Irish dancing. 

“I’d like to say I am 100% Irish, but I’m not,” Campbell said. “Everyone calls me a plastic patty, half Irish and half jealous.”

In 2007, he moved to northeast Ohio with his wife and brought a taste of Ireland with him. He opened P.J. McIntyre’s, an Irish Pub known for its authenticity that is located in the Kamm’s Corner Entertainment District of Cleveland.

Patrick Campbell stands in front of his bar, P.J. McIntyre’s Irish Pub. (Spectrum News 1/Taylor Bruck)

“A place to come like it was, it was like your living room coming in here having either, whether you’re going to have a pint or have a cup of tea and a chat, that’s what it was like back in the pubs back in the day where my parents are from,” Campbell said. 

Pubs in Ireland are much more than places for drinking — they’re social experiences. Irish people have long earned a reputation for their friendliness and hospitality, and Campbell said his pub embraces that.

“True Irish people would, would be blown away by what we do, and they’d be very proud that we, that we really do bring, you know, bring St. Patrick’s Day and their traditions to a whole new level,” Campbell said. 

Patrick Campbell kisses the forehead of Bridget Conway, Cleveland’s Irish Mother of the Year. (Spectrum News 1/Taylor Bruck)

Ireland natives and regular customers like Bridget Conway said they feel right at home. 

“I have so many cousins here,” Conway said. “So many friends and it’s just like Ireland to me.”

Conway is Cleveland’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade Irish Mother of the Year and is also related to Campbell. 

“I came to America on St. Patrick’s Day 67 years ago,” Conway said. “I feel so excited. I don’t know. I’m too old I said for this, but I’m so happy and so excited.”

The two celebrate their Irish roots every day but especially on their favorite day. 

“Happy St. Patrick’s Day!” Campbell said. 

P.J. McIntyre’s is serving an Irish breakfast, hosting Irish dancers, bagpipers and live music throughout the day on St. Patrick’s Day. The first 100 people to enter the bar will receive a free limited edition P.J. McIntyre’s T-shirt. The bar staff is also giving away a trip to Ireland for two people. To enter you must purchase a Miller Lite product. Winners must be present on the day of the drawing for the Ireland Trip Giveaway, March 18, during the “Survivor’s Party” from 6-8 p.m. For more information you can visit here.