Celtic Crossings

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At some "Irish" bars, the most they have in common with Ireland is Guinness on tap and cardboard shamrocks taped to windows. Not so here. Co-partners John Phelan, John O'Reardon and Kevin Hibbitts hail from Ireland; customers, some ruddy and red-haired, talk about their last visit to "the island." With a working stone fireplace made by George Nugent of County Clare, it aims to be like a Dublin pub -- and assuredly is, since designer Hibbitts is from nearby Laois. You'll find 13 beers on tap -- mostly imports like Murphy's, Newcastle, Guinness and Harp -- have no food to "intrude on people's conversation," says Phelan, who's from Waterford. They've added a few flat-screen TVs though they keep the sound off to not interrupt chatter. A good crowd comes to listen and sometimes dance to Irish bands on Saturday, but mainly people just socialize. "Most of the bars back home are just drinkin' bars," Hibbitts says. "You have a chat and you're out the door."