The casual-style chain originated in the Okanagan. It was established by a group of former Keg Restaurant employees.
To learn about the Lower Mainland’s Kelly O’Bryan’s locations, continue reading. To learn about other comparable chain restaurants, see our article about Vancouver Casual Dining Chain Restaurants.
FREE BIRTHDAY DINNERS!
If you go to a Kelly O’Bryan’s restaurant on your birthday with at least one friend, they’ll give you a free meal to help you celebrate!
If you go to one of their restaurants on your birthday before 4:00 pm they’ll give you up to $20 towards your entrée. After 4:00 pm the value is up to $30! That’s a terrific deal! Most comparable places these days just give you a free dessert. Here, like they have for over 30 years, they treat you with a full dinner entrée!
TIP: If you want a full dinner, especially if you want their prime rib or a steak, be sure to go to the location in New Westminster. The location in Kitsilano is more pub-style and doesn’t have a full menu (including nothing costing as much as $30, which means the value of your gift will be less than that amount).
Kelly O’Bryan’s and Carlos O’Bryan’s Restaurant and Pub
Kelly O’Bryan’s and Carlos O’Bryan’s are two linked chains with the same ownership. They have locations throughout BC and not all of them are the same. Some places have just the Kelly O’Bryan’s Restaurant component, some have just a Carlos O’Bryan’s Pub, and some have both in the same building.
Regardless of the exact combination, these places are Irish-themed and have a wide selection of drinks to go along with their food menus. They have a casual and loud atmosphere especially on event nights when there are fun times with live music, trivia or bingo taking place.
There are two locations for the BC-based chain restaurant in the Lower Mainland. Both have a Kelly O’Bryan’s restaurant component and a Carlos O’Bryan’s pub component, but it’s hard to tell them apart. There is a Kelly O’Bryan’s in Kitsilano and another in New Westminster. They are both fairly different.
The Kitsilano venue is more of a pub and it has a simplified pub-style menu. The location in New Westminster, meanwhile, has separate restaurant and pub areas. It’s also in a cool heritage building, the old New West train station in fact. The New West location also has a full menu similar to what you might find at a Keg Restaurant (but with a bit of a unique Irish kindof theme).
The Pub-Style Kelly O’Bryan’s in Kitsilano
The venue in Kitsilano is more of a pub-style restaurant. It’s in an older, yet modern building at the corner of Burrard Street and West 7th. Its address is 1774 West 7th Avenue.
At the Kitsilano location one side of the venue is the Kelly O’Bryan’s restaurant and in the other it’s the Carlos O’Bryan’s Pub.
The only thing separating the pub from the restaurant in the same large room at this location is a low wall-style divider. Other than that, the two areas are pretty much the same, except that the pub section is for adults only and it has a pool table. Other than that, the food is the same, the drinks are the same, and the music is the same.
The Kitsilano venue is open from 11:00 am to midnight from Sundays to Thursdays and from 11:00 am to 1:00 am on Fridays and Saturdays. This location serves a simplified pub-style menu. There is no prime rib (which Kelly O’Bryan’s is famous for) and the only steak is a steak sandwich.
The Kelly O’Bryan’s Restaurant in New Westminster
Metro Vancouver’s other Kelly O’Bryan’s location is in New Westminster at 800 Columbia Street. It’s in a cool landmark building that used to be the city’s old train station. This location has both a Kelly O’Bryan’s Restaurant and a Carlos O’Bryan’s Pub which are in separate areas of the building but share the same entrance. The hours of operation are the same as the Kitsilano location.
How is the New Westminster location different from the one in Kitsilano, other than the building? It serves a full menu complete with prime rib and a wide selection of steaks, pastas and seafoods. The Carlos O’Bryan’s Pub part of the establishment is a bit more like a rustic pub, but the restaurant side is more like a Keg Restaurant, although not quite as fancy.
If you want a pub or bar-like experience, then go to the Kelly O’Bryan’s in Kitsilano or the Carlos O’Bryan’s section of the place in New Westminster. If you want to eat a nice dinner at a restaurant, with or without kids, then the restaurant side of the New West location is the better option.
TIP: If going out for dinner at the New West location, consider going for a walk along the waterfront either before or after your meal. Westminster Quay and its waterfront are just steps away on the other side of the railway tracks.
The Kelly O’Bryan’s Menus
There isn’t a huge amount of difference between the Kelly and Carlos O’Bryan’s menus, although the Kelly O’Bryan’s New Westminster location has a food menu that is a bit more extensive. The New Westminster location has a prime rib roast as well as a New York Streak which isn’t available in Kitsilano. It also has other Kelly O’Bryan’s-specific dishes like a St. Patrick’s beef & Guinness gravy stew.
The Kitsilano location still has a good array of choices. Dishes we enjoyed were the lamb burger (which had a hint of mint) and the lettuce wrapped chicken served with deep fried onions. Both locations have Celtic favourites like fish & chips as well as poutine, pasta, burgers and more.
Kelly O’Bryan’s is also well-known for its patchos which are like natchos but made with lattice-style fried potatoes instead of chips. They also serve “chicken lips” which are deep-fried strips of lightly-battered chicken. (If you ask them why they call them “chicken lips” when chickens don’t actually have lips they’ll tell you that chickens don’t have fingers either!)
The two locations also both have a very detailed drinks menu with Irish whisky, high-quality liquors, cocktails, close to 10 flavours of margaritas and more. You can order draught beer sample trays and specialty pints of beer.
As already mentioned above, Kelly O’Bryan’s is a good place to celebrate your birthday as well. If you order before 4:00 pm on your birthday you’ll receive $20 off, and if you order after 4:00 pm that increases to $30 off.
Regular Kelly O’Bryan’s Events
The New Westminster location, while it has the wider array of menu options, does not have as many regular events compared to the Kitsilano location.
As of the last time we checked, in New Westminster there is a trivia night every Tuesday at 6:30 pm, and there is sometimes an adults-only paint night where participants receive a canvas, paints and drinks. This event happened twice in February and once in March in 2022.
In comparison, the Kitsilano location has much more on the schedule most weeks. For games, there is trivia every Tuesday at 7:30 pm as well as music bingo at 7:00 pm on Wednesdays. On the weekends, there are usually live music performances on Saturday nights and the building’s pool table is free to use all day on Sundays.
The pub in Kitsilano also shows live sports with priority programming for Thursday Night Football during the NFL season and 6 Nations Rugby on Saturday mornings.
Why Did We Write About Kelly O’Bryan’s?
We wrote this article about Kelly O’Bryan’s for a number of reasons. One is because the New West location is in a landmark heritage building. It’s a prominent restaurant at the intersection of Eighth Street and Columbia. It’s hard not to notice.
Another reason is because Kelly O’Bryan’s is one of the only casual-style restaurants that still gives customers a full dinner for free on their birthdays. The Keg and other similar restaurants used to do that. Now they just offer a free dessert. At Kelly O’Bryan’s, however, your meal for free, up to a value of between $20 and $30. That’s a terrific deal!
A third reason we wrote about this particular restaurant is that one of us at Vancouver’s Best Places used to work at a Kelly O’Bryan’s. He helped open the location in Vernon, BC, in the early 1990s!
Kelly O’Bryan’s was similar when our staff person worked there years ago, but not quite the same. It was even more like the Keg than it is today, and it had a menu that was over a dozen pages long (compared to just the two-sided one-page menu at the Kitsilano location today).
Years ago the drink menu at Kelly O’Bryan’s also used to include about four dozen different kinds of margarita, from root beer to liquorice, apricot and every flavour that schnapps comes in. Today they only have about nine flavours. (Yes, our former Kelly O’Bryan’s waiter sounds like an old-timer, doesn’t he!)
Fourth, Kelly O’Bryan’s is an Irish-themed restaurants (even though it’s not really an authentic Irish one). When you’re looking for a place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, especially if you want to go somewhere with kids, Kelly O’Bryan’s is an option.
And finally, we like Kelly O’Bryan’s. They have good food. It’s perhaps noisier than some other comparable restaurants, especially on event nights with the music. But it’s a good restaurant, and of especially good value when it’s your birthday!
To learn more about the restaurant see the Kelly O’Bryan’s/Carlos O’Bryan’s website.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Best Places to Eat and Drink in Vancouver
- Metro Vancouver Irish Pubs and Bars
- Vancouver Casual Dining Chain Restaurants
- Lower Mainland Breweries and Beers
- Vancouver on St. Patrick’s Day