Authentic Irish cuisine in an historical setting
With a menu full of mouthwatering dishes, diners at America Bowman Restaurant will undoubtedly need something to wash it all down. There’s plenty of soda as well as wine and spirits all made not far from the restaurant just off Weston’s historic district. The restaurant is under the Weston Brewing Co. umbrella and all the draft beer — save for one tap handle — is made on-site at the brewery.
“Everything we have on tap is brewed here except for Guinness. If you don’t know what Guinness is, you might be in the wrong place,” says America Bowman Kitchen Manager Felicia Donaldson with a laugh.
America Bowman serves up a vast menu that is rooted in Irish flair while also offering American classics in a historical setting. The restaurant is known for its unique ambiance and incorporating its freshly brewed beer into the dishes.
There’s no shortage of history in the antebellum building that hosts the restaurant, brewery and Missouri’s oldest pub. Its roots go back to 1842 when German immigrant John Georgian opened a brewery on the site. He dug more than 50 feet underground for the perfect spot and temperature to lager his beers. That subterranean location now hosts an intimate multilevel entertainment venue that is truly a one-of-a-kind experience.
Its heyday was in the early 1900s as Royal Brewing Co., when it was the largest manufacturing plant in Platte County making more than 20,000 barrels annually. After Prohibition, the building changed hands multiple times and included a short-lived brewery that shut its doors in 1999. Six years later, Michael Coakley and Corey Weinfurt purchased the property and turned it into the dining and entertainment destination it is now.
Upstairs in the restaurant, patrons have ample options from which to choose. The menu features classics you’d expect to see at an Irish pub such as bangers and mash, beef in stout and shepherd’s pie as well as local options like pork tenderloin sandwich and bacon-wrapped pork steak.
“I would say you can pretty much get anything here that you would want,” says Felicia. “But I highly recommend our features. It’s not something you’re going to get elsewhere.”
There’s no better start to your meal than with one of Felicia’s soft pretzels. She makes the pretzels in-house and tops them with melted butter and salt to order. The kicker is O’Malley’s Cream Ale Cheese Sauce which includes just a small bite of jalapenos.
“It’s not your typical pretzel,” she says of the oversized appetizer served in a 10-inch basket. “It pairs well with the beer cheese. By doing our own prep and making things homemade it keeps the restaurant unique.”
Other appetizer options included the Irish egg rolls — filled with corned beef, Swiss cheese and sweet marinated coleslaw and served with a side of housemade Dropkick Ale Beer Mustard — or the sausage sampler with each of America Bowman’s proprietary sausages.
If you’re looking for a light meal, opt for the chicken or salmon salad served with housemade poppy seed dressing and sprinkled with sugared walnuts.
If Irish food isn’t what you’re after, you can opt for the half-pound beef or turkey burger which features a scoop of cheese spread and housemade bistro sauce, respectively. The burgers are served with thick-cut pub fries and you can add on a bowl of Cheddar and Ale Soup for a few bucks more.
“Our signature sandwich is The O’Malley,” Felicia says. “It’s corned beef and marinated slaw. Then we add our housemade beer cheese and beer mustard. It’s very good, we get lots of compliments on The O’Malley.”
America Bowman offers a trio of options for bangers and mash. The first two options include two links of the O’Malley’s Stout Banger Sausage or the O’Malley’s L’il Lucy Hot Pepper Banger Sausage. The final includes one of each, which Felicia recommends. They’re all topped with barbecue sauce and beer mustard and served over garlic mashed potatoes.
“Everything blends together, it’s a really good flavor profile,” she says. “You’ll want to keep switching between each of the two sausages because of how the flavors blend.”
Crispy, beer-battered fillets of cod are featured on the restaurant’s fish and chips and served with a remoulade sauce and pub fries. The Irish Stout Shepherd’s Pie is another popular option. The dish has a plentiful portion of ground beef, Irish Stout gravy, green beans and garlic mashed potatoes served piping hot with a pub roll. “That stout gravy is unique to that dish and makes it stand out,” Felicia says.
The newest dish on the menu is Felicia’s Cajun chicken pasta. Noodles are doused with the white cheese sauce and topped with grilled red and green peppers. A freshly grilled Cajun chicken breast is sliced and added to finish off the savory dish.
“It tastes unique with the blend of the Cajun seasoning and it kind of has a little bit of a kick, but not spicy,” she says. “I wanted to give customers another option of something to come here for and keep our menu growing.”
The complex keeps busy throughout the year, but St. Patrick’s Day in March stands out. “It will be very, very busy,” Felicia says. “I’ll run a corned beef and cabbage special and there will be Irish bands performing in the building. People come here for that Irish flair.”
If you’re looking for a delicious date night, afternoon snack with a housemade brew or a bite to eat before heading 50 feet underground, America Bowman is the place to go. “If you come here once, you’re going to come back again and you’re going to enjoy your time here,” Felicia says. “We have party buses that stop by and families that come to sit on the patio. Weston is a great day trip or weekend stay.”
Specialties: Irish pub grub such as Stout and L’il Lucy Bangers and Mash, shepherd’s pie, fish and chips and The O’Malley corned beef sandwich. Appetizers include housemade soft pretzels and Irish egg rolls.
Price: Appetizers are $8.99. Entrees from $10.99 to $16.99.
Details: Open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Pub downstairs open later. Cash and credit cards accepted. Nonsmoking. Free Wi-Fi. Located at 500 Welt St. in Weston. Contact at 816-640-5235 and www.westonirish.com.