Restaurant Reviews

Lochland’s Food and Spirits in East Dallas Is a Tightened-Up Irish Bar

Lauren Drewes Daniels

Lochland’s opened in East Dallas earlier this month, another Irish pub from Peter and Cheryl Kenny, the former who was born and raised in Ireland and the latter in Dallas.

This is the fourth spot for the couple, including the longstanding Dubliner on Greenville Avenue and The Gin Mill on Henderson, which closed in 2015. The impetus for this new place was an expired lease on the Capitol Pub; after a solid 12-year run, they decided to close up in order to be their own landlord at Lochland’s.

I asked Cheryl if opening a pub gets easier each time around.

“I don’t know if it ever gets easy,” she replied with a laugh. “But, yes, you definitely figure out more of what you want as you go. It’s never necessarily smooth, though.”

With Lochland’s, Cheryl explained, they took their best experiences and put them together.

“For example, this time around we’ve been super vigilant about ingredients,” says Cheryl. “I think in the early days we were more willing to compromise with ingredients. But, with experience we’ve learned to say no to things we don’t want.”

This goes along with staying true to the “scratch kitchen” they advertise on their menu, a promise that can come with its own speed bumps.

“The first weekend we had problems because we ran out of fries. And our fries are a three-step process, so it’s not like we can just open a bag and cook more. We’ve also run out of shepherd's pie every day, even though we’ve quadrupled the quantity,” Cheryl says.

But, she knows she’s on the right track because of her customers' response. “People are cool about it, though, because they want quality good stuff, too.”

Additionally, Cheryl says they have “tightened” their menu across the board. It’s smaller and more selective. The same goes for the beer; one can still obviously get that perfect pour of Guinness, but there are no American beers on draft.

click to enlarge
The Goat Man Flatbread
Lauren Drewes Daniels
Brunch is served on the weekends from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. One timing note: On Saturday and Sundays between 3 and 3:30 p.m., customers can order only off the flatbread and salad menu to allow the kitchen time to transition from brunch to the regular menu.

Brunch is served on the weekends from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Hangover sandwich is made with French toast, Jimmy's breakfast sausage and a fried egg.They also have sweets, traditional breakfasts and a "Pick Me Up Cocktails" menu.

Pub favorites include fish and chips and the shepherd's pie, for which there is a vegan option.

While I was there this past Saturday afternoon, right at 3 p.m., hence my flatbread photo, the service was attentive and welcoming. Peter was doing regular loops through the dining room with a rag in hand, waiting to wipe something down and keeping a close eye on things. But everything was smooth, so he just kept circling.

Lochland’s Food and Spirits, 8518 Plano Road (East Dallas). Open 3 p.m.-midnight Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m.-midnight Sunday.