This Irish ale house, fondly called JKS or “the pub” by locals, has a buzzy, welcoming vibe and a witty staff that knows how to please beer lovers.
What it is: Irish pubs might seem a dime a dozen—until you step into JKS, a no-gimmicks establishment in the city’s heart where folks have been flocking for 11 years. Here, you won’t just find a bar claiming to be Irish because it serves Guinness. Instead, you’ll find twenty taps, ten rotating through local and regional creations, centered on the U-shaped wooden bar, centrally located as a gathering spot. Just count yourself lucky if you snag a bar seat. Although you can’t see the soccer or rugby games on the corner TVS, you’ll probably gain at least one new friend.
Why it’s great: Not sure what you want? You not only get generous samples here, you also can choose from beer and whiskey flights. Or play the dice game. Each number represents a different area behind the bar. Bartenders shake until you say stop, and whatever number the dice lands on is the beverage you get, be it draft, bottle, or liquor. Soak that up with JKS fare, including fish-and-chips or curry-and-chips. Then keep your eye on the calendar, as there are always events from adult spelling bees and Irish traditional music sessions to the Winter Warmer, a January festival with numerous breweries serving higher-gravity beers under an outdoor tent. —Karen Asp
DETAILS Hours: 11 a.m–11 p.m., Monday–thursday; 11 a.m. –midnight, Friday–saturday; Closed Sunday Address: 121 W. Wayne St., Fort Wayne, IN Web: jkodonnells.com