Skeff’s Pub: Tábhairne Fíor-Ghaeilge (a genuine Irish Pub)

Have yourself an Irish sip at Skeff’s pub. (Photo: Skeff’s Pub)

I met Eileen Harvey, then Eileen Skeffington, in 1978 when she and her parents moved to my neighborhood. Eileen grew up with her older brother and sister in a big house full of love and Irish songs. We became childhood besties. We spent our time playing with dolls, combing each other’s hair, at the playground, or outside playing football. We have since traded in our shared childhood shenanigans into shared pints. Eileen is the owner of Skeff’s Pub. Previous to Skeff’s, Eileen and her husband, Paul bought a pub in Cumberland, formerly called Stevie D’s. Skeff’s immediately became a local favorite. Wanting to be closer to her roots, she moved to an East Providence location in May of 2022.


Skeff’s Pub is not your average Irish Pub filled with whimsical shamrocks and leprechauns. Skeff’s is an authentic Irish Pub built on Irish family heritage and traditions. In fact, this is one of the two pubs in Rhode Island that holds Seisiúns. Seisiúns are gatherings of different musicians, common in pubs in Ireland. They involve one or two house musicians who play traditional Irish music. Other musicians are invited to participate throughout the jam session. Tony Gahan, an Irish native and songwriter, starts the sessions, which take place once a month through June.

Eileen makes sure the Irish authenticity of Skeff’s Pub doesn’t end there. The bar is stocked with Irish whiskeys. In addition, Guiness is always available on tap. For St. Patrick’s Day, the bar will offer Wormtown Irish Red, a Shaidzon brewery special St. Patrick’s Day beer, Magners Cider, Smithwick’s Ale, and Guinness Blonde. There are other beers, including local craft, available on tap and in cans and bottles.

Patrick Hamilton behind the bar.

Also, there will be an Irish themed mixed drink menu, curated by Shannon O’ Brien, Eileen’s daughter and general manager and local bartender Patrick Hamilton. You might recognize Hamilton from his recent win at Motif’s January 2024 monthly bartender competition.

If you are thinking about heading out for St. Patrick’s Day this year, this is the place to be. Last year, I was lucky enough to attend Skeff’s first. The celebration starts March 15 with Boston band Sláinte and Joe Gorman on March 16. On the 17, the pub will have bagpipes, Turas Irish band, and Tony Gahan. The menu will feature shepard’s pie made with short ribs, top quality brisket braised corned beef, and Guinness beef stew (Eileen’s homemade recipe).

Eileen is very proud of her Irish history and, I have to add, I am very proud of my friend. Skeff’s Pub is a fun, friendly place to grab a pint or cocktail, and a bite to eat. Often filled with couples and single patrons, there are plenty of TVs around the bar. So, don’t let the Washington Bridge construction scare you — it might take a few minutes longer to travel, but it is worth the trip.

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