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Irvington pub delivers authentic Irish experience in warm, cozy space

Snug Irvington
The snug at Snug
Snug bar
Guinness at Snug
Snug in Irvington
Posted at 2:30 PM, Mar 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-15 14:30:52-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The team behind Snug in Irvington did the research.

“Very important research,” co-owner Jim Arnoldt said. “We took the team over [and] spent a week traveling around Ireland, going from pub to pub, really trying to get the feel for the whole thing.”

Snug at Shelbourne
Jim Arnoldt at work in the Shelbourne Bar in Cork City, Ireland.

That feel, well, it’s pretty snug.

Snug is the term for tiny rooms frequently found inside pubs throughout Ireland. The Victorian-era spaces served as a safe haven for people who couldn’t be seen drinking publicly.

“The local priest perhaps or members of a certain social class who just couldn't be sitting at the bar with everyone else,” Arnoldt said. “We spent a lot of time in one in Cork City, The Shelburne Bar, where we resolved what this place was going to look like, feel like, and we brought it home.”

Naturally, Irvington’s Snug wouldn’t be complete without its own snug.

The snug at Snug
This snug is located in Irvington's Snug pub.

“Where the bar terminates, we have a little space that holds about six people,” Arnoldt said. “It's an intimate quiet space within an already intimate space.”

That intimate space is located at 210 S. Audubon in the heart of Irvington. It’s the community the folks at Snug call home.

“The purpose behind this project from the beginning was to create a space for the neighborhood, in the neighborhood,” Arnoldt said. “Fortunately, the neighborhood was very supportive and backed us in our efforts to get the license for this space.”

It’s a space Arnoldt came across by happenstance.

Snug in Irvington
Snug is located at 210 S. Audubon Road in Irvington.

“I was working as a general contractor and gave an estimate for a building that had the Snug attached,” Arnoldt said. “I asked in passing what the owners were going to do with the space and they hadn’t settled on anything. I suggested an Irish pub. I not only got the job, I got a new career.”

As with any new career, there’s always a learning curve.

Guinness at Snug
A pint of Guinness is being pourd at Snug.

“We have Guinness, and we've spent a lot of time and energy making sure it's the best pour point in the state,” Arnoldt said.

Snug also boasts an extensive whiskey menu as well as a number of non-alcoholic options.

“We want this place to be somewhere where anyone, whether you drink alcohol or not, can get a good drink,” Arnoldt said. “We are here to accommodate everyone.”

Everyone is invited to Snug’s first St. Patrick’s Day celebration March 16 and 17.

“We're ready,” Arnoldt said. “We've got a tent behind the house that's attached to the pub. We're going to have local music, and we're going to be serving drinks out there.”

A familiar St. Patrick’s Day celebration that transcends cultures.

Snug bar
Snug has a variety of Irish beer, whiskey and non-alcoholic drink options.

“I think that there's something about Irish pubs that is universal,” Arnoldt said. “People travel all over the world and you can always find consistency and a welcome space.”

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