Three guys from Pittsboro having lunch at Doherty’s: A new dining destination

By Gene Galin

Pittsboro, NC – In the heart of downtown Pittsboro, just south of the historic Chatham County courthouse, lies Doherty’s Irish Pub, a new establishment quickly gaining popularity among locals and visitors alike. In a lively continuation of our gastronomic journey, we three guys from Pittsboro, Greg Stafford, Eric Andrews, and Gene Galin sat down for lunch at Doherty’s Irish Pub in Pittsboro. We delved into a variety of dishes while engaging in spirited conversation. We found ourselves immersed in not only good food but also the vibrant atmosphere of the restaurant and of course, our own engaging conversation.

A Warm Welcome in Pittsboro

Since its opening, the reception from both residents and visitors has been nothing short of phenomenal. The enthusiasm from the town of Pittsboro and Chatham County as a whole has exceeded expectations, making it clear that Doherty’s has quickly become a local favorite. Steve Kanter, one of the managing partners, reflects on the overwhelming support, stating, “The reception in Pittsboro has been just phenomenal. It’s been more than what we could have ever hoped for.”

We noted that there had been unsubstantiated rumors that even local dignitaries, such as the mayor of Pittsboro and town council members, have attempted to dine at Doherty’s, only to find themselves turned away due to the overwhelming demand. With such high demand, reservations have become a necessity, a testament to the restaurant’s growing popularity.

Navigating the Challenges of the Restaurant Business

Despite the warm reception, running a restaurant comes with its challenges. Opening a restaurant is no small feat, and the team at Doherty’s faced their fair share of challenges during the soft opening phase. Despite minor hiccups, such as running out of cheesecake, the experience has been a valuable learning curve. Steve Kanter, with over four decades of experience in the restaurant industry, acknowledges the inherent unpredictability, stating, “The restaurant business is an imprecise business because it is innately and intensely human-driven.” The journey of establishing Doherty’s has been filled with learning experiences.

Navigating the Challenges of Opening

Opening a restaurant is no small feat, and the team at Doherty’s faced their fair share of challenges during the soft opening phase. Despite minor hiccups, such as running out of Cheesecake, the experience has been a valuable learning curve. Steve Kanter, with over four decades of experience in the restaurant industry, acknowledges the inherent unpredictability, stating, “The restaurant business is an imprecise business because it is innately and intensely human-driven.” However, with dedication and perseverance, they have successfully navigated these challenges, emerging stronger and more resilient.

However, what sets Doherty’s apart is its unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction. Each staff member strives to provide impeccable service, ensuring that every diner leaves with a smile. This dedication to excellence, coupled with the unique ambiance of the restaurant, should earn Doherty’s a reputation for serving up great dining experiences.

Culinary Delights and Unique Offerings

One of the highlights of dining at Doherty’s is the diverse menu, featuring traditional Irish fare with a modern twist. From savory bangers and mash made with Irish sausages to fish and chips, Steve pointed out that every dish is crafted with care using fresh, high-quality ingredients. Notably, the bangers are made with Irish sausage sourced from Cooper River Farms in Charleston, adding an authentic touch to the Irish-inspired cuisine. He emphasized the importance of using fresh, quality ingredients, stating, “It’s an Irish sausage, and the thing that makes that unique is that it’s got cracked wheat fries, or chips as they’re called in Ireland.”

Moreover, Doherty’s takes pride in its homemade sauces and dressings, free from artificial additives and preservatives. Whether indulging in their signature ranch dressing or savoring the rich flavors of French onion soup, diners can expect a flavorful taste with every bite.

Exploring the Menu

We began our lunch meal with Doherty’s renowned egg rolls, a unique twist on the classic appetizer. Unlike traditional egg rolls, these were filled with brisket and cabbage, showcasing the pub’s innovative approach to Irish cuisine. Despite some initial skepticism, the egg rolls earned high praise from our group, setting a promising tone for the rest of our dining experience.

Chipwich Conundrum: Debating Culinary Preferences

Next up was a discussion about the chipwich, a sandwich featuring cod and potato chips. A debate ensued over the chipwich, as Eric Andrews expressed skepticism over the combination and found the presence of chips in the sandwich somewhat unconventional. “I didn’t expect chips in my sandwich, but it turned out to be a surprisingly delicious combination.” Steve Kanter pointed out that the sandwich’s appeal is it’s convenient grab-and-go option, reminiscent of the food truck culture that inspired its creation.

Other highlights from the menu included brisket potato pancakes, hush puppies, and blanched green beans, each offering a unique take on classic comfort foods. From egg rolls to chipwiches, our meal sparked discussions ranging from culinary preferences to international beer culture,

The Art of Pouring Guinness

A notable aspect of the dining experience at Doherty’s Irish Pub is its expertise in pouring the perfect Guinness pint, a skill that elevates the enjoyment of this iconic Irish stout. We learned about the meticulous process involved in pouring the perfect pint, from holding the glass at a precise angle to allowing the beer to settle before topping it off with a creamy head. “Pouring the perfect Guinness requires attention to detail and practice.”

Reflecting on our experiences with beer culture, we contrasted American beer consumption with European traditions, highlighting the social significance of shared libations. I must say that there is a certain level of appreciation for the artistry behind a well-poured Guinness.

Irish Egg Rolls

As the lunch plates were served, we delved into a discussion on the unexpected twists of Doherty’s famed egg rolls. Contrary to traditional expectations, these egg rolls boast a filling of brisket and cabbage, showcasing the pub’s creative approach to fusion cuisine. “The egg rolls were definitely a good choice. They’re not your typical egg rolls, but the brisket and cabbage filling adds a unique twist.”

Recognizing Achievements

Amidst the bustling ambiance of Doherty’s Irish Pub, conversations veered towards personal achievements and milestones. Eric Andrews, a prominent figure in the real estate industry, discusses his recent accolades, including recognition for top land sales in Chatham County.

Greg Stafford and his wife Paula are Main Street award winners for the Best Outdoor Space Improvement for their SoCo Project.

SoCo project 2023
The Staffords won a Main Street award for Best Outdoor Space Improvement.

Community and Culture

Beyond the culinary delights, Greg, Eric and I reflected on the sense of community fostered by establishments like Doherty’s Irish Pub. We enthusiastically praised the vibrant atmosphere of the SoCo Corner, a bustling hub of activity that has become a focal point for locals and visitors alike. From lively conversations at the bar to impromptu gatherings on the outdoor deck, the SoCo establishments of Havoc Brewing, The Mod and Doherty’s serve as gathering places where friends and neighbors can come together to share good food, beverages and company.

A Shared Vision for Excellence

Behind the scenes, the success of Doherty’s is driven by a team of dedicated individuals, including Michael Doherty, one of the original partners. With decades of experience in the restaurant industry, the team at Doherty’s is committed to upholding the highest standards of quality and service, ensuring that every diner’s experience is memorable.

Looking Ahead

Our lunchtime gathering at Doherty’s Irish Pub offered more than just a meal—it provided an opportunity for us to connect, share stories, and enjoy the food options available at this establishment. From inventive dishes to expertly poured pints of Guinness, it appears that the dining experience here exemplified the pub’s commitment to quality and hospitality.