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Bar Review: T.J. Finley’s Public House

Submitted by on October 23, 2009 – 6:17 PMNo Comment
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T.J. Finley’s Public House
42 East Main St.
Bayshore, NY 11706

Hours: Sunday through Thursday: 12:00 PM – 2:00 AM

Friday & Saturday: 12:00 PM – 4:00 AM

Best time to visit: Early evening or late afternoon if you want to seriously taste beers from around the world. If you’re into animal-house drinking parties, visit during a big game night and go nuts with the rest of the gang.

Finleys 006On the outside, T.J. Finley’s Public House puts on a pretty convincing Irish mask, but at its Friday night core, is nothing more than a typical Long Island frat-party sports bar.

T.J. Finley’s definitely has the potential to bring a rich Irish ancestry to the modern streets of Bayshore with stone walls and hardwood paneling surrounding an antique-style wooden fireplace. Walking into Finley’s on a quiet evening might just feel like a little slice of beer heaven. There are 26 craft beers on tap and almost 80 bottled selections. The vast selection may seem overwhelming at first, but the incredible amount of choices is exciting enough to stimulate your taste buds on arrival.
A big highlight for the autumn season is Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale on tap, delightfully touched up with a ring of cinnamon sitting atop the glass. One of two pumpkin ales featured at Finley’s, the Smuttynose is a bit sweeter than Brooklyn Brewery’s Pumpkin Ale and therefore carries the pumpkin flavor much better.
If you’re looking to warm up in this recent surge of winter weather, T.J. Finley’s offers a variety of porters to get your blood flowing. Try Tröegs Dead Reckoning for a deep, heavy flavor with hints of chocolate and caramel.
T.J. Finley’s tries to help the beer enthusiast by use of their Beer Club, which is free to join. Finley’s Beer Club gives momentum to the fact that the bar offers 100 different beers by rewarding those who drink everything on the list with discounts and a place on their Wall of Fame.
T.J. Finley’s also offers an array of special events for beer lovers to attend as well. For instance, in October, T.J. Finley’s has their annual Pumpkin Fest, a day filled with over six different pumpkin-flavored beers available for tasting, pumpkin carvings, and pumpkin pies. The bar features different specials every night of the week, including four dollar Blue Point pints and bottles every Monday night from 4 PM to close. Try to go as early as possible in order to beat the sausage-fest that is bound to invade the bar later in the evening.

Unfortunately for T.J. Finley’s, the crowd splits in half between beer enthusiasts and post-grad drinkers. If you are looking to actually taste and enjoy the cascade of flavors Finley’s provides, then the best choice would be to visit in the earlier evening or even the afternoon.
If you are looking for a place to get drunk and shout at a big screen TV, then check out Finley’s during your favorite sporting event. As it happens, the fall season means “game night” occurs more often than most other seasons, and that is what seems to draw in the big crowds.
In traditional Irish pub fashion, hundreds of sports-lovers gather into T.J. Finley’s to cheer on their teams and to get drunk in doing so. However the classic Celtic appeal and the impressive variety of beers gets lost amidst the cacophony of “whoops” and the sea of popped collars and fist-pumps. The music does nothing to help, of course, as Finley’s sound system is no stranger to bands like Nickelback and remixed versions of 90’s acts like Sugar Ray (classic, I know).
The saddest part of the evening is looking around and seeing the most popular beer choice is Coors Light and Corona. With a treasure trove of international beers to choose from, there is no reason to dip your hand into the pile of ordinary, run-of-the-mill brews. For a more realistically Irish feel, you may want to drive a short way down the street to East Islip’s Shandon Court, where the only music played is Celtic and classic rock and many of the bartenders are right off the boat from Ireland.

Pros: Over 100 craft beers to choose from, different specials every night, not-too-crazy prices at $6 for a pint of craft beer.
Cons: Frat party atmosphere, less than cleanly facilities, and obnoxiously loud music of poor taste.
Rating: 2 out of 5