Every year, The Sentinel asks hundreds of students from both campuses about their favorite places to eat, drink and hang out. The Sentinel’s “Best of KSU” issue encompasses students’ favorite aspects of KSU and the surrounding community. In 2017, MacCracken’s was voted Best Bar by the Marietta campus students.
Johnnie MacCracken’s Celtic Firehouse Pub stands in the corner of Marietta Square, behind the Marietta Local. On its website, a classy oil painting of the stretch of street where MacCracken’s lives sits under the words, “It was here before you were born.”
The interior is reminiscent of a house from the 19th century with much of the furniture remaining, including an old broken piano in the basement. In the same room, a few old couches surround a television, and board games are stacked on a shelf. The atmosphere is palpable: it says you are at home here, and this is a place of legend.
Marietta campus voters who gave MacCracken’s the No. 1 spot were probably remembering the fond times they had around the outdoor fire pit or in the lounges, sipping cold drinks and making eyes at their well-dressed counterparts. The crowd is primarily college students, but you can probably find a few salty old sea dogs prowling the halls with a mouthful of corned beef.
KSU students visiting MacCracken’s can go in the restaurant section to dine on Guinness and pub grub, or they can step into the lounges where crowds stand by the bar, flagging down bartenders who will recommend the best beers on tap. A deep, amber Trappist Quadruple is my recommendation, but if you’re looking for something to knock you down you can try the Irish car bomb.
The menu offers an assortment of Celtic favorites, as well as classic southern vittles with a Celtic twist. Enjoy the corned beef and cabbage, Shepherd’s pie or the fish and chips with a tall glass of your favorite draft. The beer menu is expansive, with page after page of options.
If you’re under 21, you’ll have to sit outside, but they’ll still serve you the eats. MacCracken’s doesn’t lie when they call their grub “exceptional.” I recommend the fish and chips, an English classic made perfectly golden and flaky. Complete with a chilly pint of Guinness to wash down the crisp savory fish, you get a meal to remember — just be careful not to chow down before a long night of homework because the combination is like a sleeping pill.
If you’re ever looking for a fun time and a fine place to dine, just show up for happy hour. At MacCracken’s, that would be “every day all day long and into the night,” according to their website.