Lo­cal Fla­vor: Cop­per Penny Pub

“May your laugh, your love & your wine be plenty”

The Sentinel-Record - HER - Hot Springs - - Contents - Story by Cari El­liott

T he im­por­tance of fam­ily is in­grained in Ir­ish cul­ture. Wher­ever you go in Ire­land, you’re sure to feel at home, and the Cop­per Penny Pub in down­town Hot Springs is no ex­cep­tion. Hos­pi­tal­ity is served up just like their sig­na­ture Ir­ish stew: warm and com­fort­ing.

It comes as no sur­prise that owner Peggy Bode­mann was raised in a very Ir­ish-en­riched cul­ture. “Two of my broth­ers have Ir­ish pubs in other parts of Arkansas,” she ex­plains. When she pur­chased Lucky’s at the same lo­ca­tion in Novem­ber of last year, her goal was to ren­o­vate, and the Ir­ish theme “kind of evolved” as a re­sult of her fam­ily’s in­flu­ence.

Lucky’s re­opened as Cop­per Penny Pub on April 26 with a fresh, new look and rein­vig­o­rated menu. Al­though lack­ing Lucky’s pop­u­lar pizza oven, “people have been very pleased with the food,” Bode­mann said.

The dishes are dis­tinctly Ir­ish, even if not in ori­gin. The pub’s pop­u­lar dessert Ir­ish Tiramisu is just one of their con­coc­tions, top­ping the dessert with Guin­ness, Bai­ley’s and Ir­ish whiskey. “We took some­thing Ital­ian and made it Ir­ish – we made it unique,” Bode­mann said.

“My fa­vorite is the porta­bella burger,” she said, which con­sists of a porta­bello mush­room mar­i­nated and grilled with charred pep­pers, grilled onions and topped with cheese and a spe­cial gar­lic truf­fle aioli sauce made in house.

A fan fa­vorite has proven to be the hell­fire burger, which continues to test even the most pro­found spice lovers. The patty is made with jalapeños and green pep­pers al­ready tucked into the meat. It is then topped with a jalapeño cheese, more jalapeño pep­pers, and served on a jalapeño bun made fresh from Hot Springs’ own Am­brosia Bak­ery.

The menu was cre­ated in con­junc­tion with Bode­mann’s friend Su­sanna Wright. “We wanted burg­ers to be the foun­da­tion, but also make the menu more Ir­ish in na­ture,” she said of cre­at­ing the ex­pan­sive spread. “We took items and gave them an Ir­ish flair to make them more in­ter­est­ing.”

Bode­mann and Wright have plans to ex­pand the menu in the near fu­ture to in­clude more tra­di­tional Ir­ish dishes such as Shep­ard’s Pie, bread pud­ding and fish and chips. “Ev­ery Ir­ish pub should have fish and chips,” she said.

Jeremy Har­ri­son, the pub’s kitchen man­ager, keeps the qual­ity of the food in check on a daily ba­sis. With seven line cooks un­der him and al­most a decade of ex­pe­ri­ence in the in­dus­try to back him up, it’s Har­ri­son’s job to en­sure to recipes Bode­mann and Wright es­tab­lished are up­held to the high­est stan­dards. “Most panic when it gets busy but I like that,” he said. “I keep it calm.” With a warm meal on the ta­ble, a cold beer in your hands and an Ir­ish folk band play­ing in the back­ground, din­ers are sure to ex­pe­ri­ence the finest Ir­ish hos­pi­tal­ity this side of the At­lantic. Wel­come home.

Peggy Bode­mann Jeremy Har­ri­son

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.