I had a chance to head over to the Finnegans grand opening in Tysons on Saturday night. I didn’t have a chance to see what the late night vibe would be like on opening weekend, but the bar had about 30 to 40 people in it when I got there at 8, not to mention the Northern Virginia Irish Firefighters who were regaling the crowd with some traditional Irish folk music.
I was impressed by the pub fare, I got the fish and chips, which unlike some lesser pubs did not provide lead gut. It was flavorful and perfect with the two pints of Lost Rhino IPA. I had a chance to try out the blackened Mahi Mahi (not necessarily the most traditional Irish pub meal) and I am glad I did because the rosemary and sage seasoning and light lemon marinade was completely unexpected for bar food.
There are some issues with Finnegan’s, none of which have to do with the bar itself, namely its location. I have no doubt that Finnegan’s will be as popular of a happy hour stop for employees around Tysons as similarly located Chef Geoffs, On the Border, and Capital Grille. Unfortunately, its prominent location on Route 7 puts it about as far away from the residents who live in Tysons as one can get. I tried to map a way to get from my location in North Tysons to Finnegans carless. A mile and a half later, and a crossing of International Drive, Route 123, and a walk along pedestrian unfriendly Route 7 and now I have to say its a bad idea for anyone who also wants to try it out.
Sadly, thousands of us in North Tysons still have no local pub to call our own which won’t require a drive in notorious traffic to get to. One would think with over 5000 residents within 1/4 mile of Westpark/International Drive intersection that someone would try to find a bar location to serve that population also. Heck a lot of us would settle for some sort of mobile solution.
All in all, I think Finnegan’s will be a popular location on weekend and happy hour nights. With everything from Karaoke to trivia night specials, I’ll likely find myself there from time to time also. Who knows, maybe in a couple years they’ll wise up and move over to North Tysons away from the traffic and Route 7, and over to where the people are.