By Jason DeRusha

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Minnesotans love Irish pubs, so Jason DeRusha took a drive to Maple Plain, Minnesota, and found a classic pub in an unlikely spot.

When your last name is McGarry and you decide to put your name on a place, you have to sell Guinness and you have to sell corned beef. You have to sell cabbage and Irish shepherd’s pie.

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“We focus on food,” said Bill McGarry, the namesake of McGarry’s Pub. “I happened to be traveling to Ireland on business–doing a fair amount of pub research.”

But you might not expect it to find McGarry’s establishment in the small Minnesota town of Maple Plain, a place of just 1,700 residents and one other restaurant. You have to be good enough to get people to come–no accidental customers.

“This is a destination: If you’re going to go to McGarry’s Pub, you went to McGarry’s Pub,” McGarry said. “You didn’t just wander by.”

McGarry decided to make his pub far more than just a place to share a drink and eat typical Irish food.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

He said he’d be bored just serving Rubens and shepherd’s pie.

“That’s not why I’m here,” McGarry said.

Chef Jon Boetel is charged with making McGarry’s a spot worth the drive.

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Gremolata forms a crust on a gorgeous rainbow trout.

“This is made with pumpkin seeds, pumpernickel, lemon zest and garlic,” Boetel explained.

Steamed mussels cooked in Guinness are another top seller.

There’s been a restaurant on the same corner for nearly 90 years. McGarry changed the concept from a typical small town cafe.

“Business has been very, very good,” McGarry said. “We have a very strong support in the community.”

The classics are awesome: corned beef roasted for 14 hours, shepherd’s pie made with New York Strip steak.

The strategy has paid off and, like a true pub, McGarry’s is bringing together people from all over.

“All of the Germans and Swedes and Hmong who come out are suddenly Irish for the day–it’s a lot of fun when we’re really hopping and really busy,” McGarry said.

McGarry’s serves lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. every day.

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And they get a lot of families. There’s even a kid’s shepherd’s pie.

Jason DeRusha