Experience: The Pub in Matunuck is a Lively Coastal Dive

A beachy watering hole delights regulars and summer people with seaside fare served late


We rushed into The Pub for our 5pm reservation in classic Matunuck fashion, sweatshirts and wet bathing suits, just off a boat ride on the Salt Pond. While admittedly I’d been to The Pub hundreds (thousands?) of times, this trip was a unique opportunity to distill the coastal mainstay’s lure into words – a task I was eager to take on.

My girlfriends and I were seated on the middeck, where we basked in the sounds of music and waves crashing on shore. The aesthetic is what you’d expect from a beach dive: umbrellas and an eclectic mix of retired road signs backdropped by miles of ocean views.

Beverage director Kevin MacIntyre walked us through the drink menu, a pleasant divergence from the overly sugary, frozen beach beverages you might expect; The Pub offers an expansive selection of refreshing, unprocessed cocktails. First up was the Pub Punch, with the zing of dark rum floating on top, followed by a soothing journey of tropical fruit juices and an unexpected hit of nutmeg. The Blicky was a super fun and sippable take on the Ocean Mist’s Watermelon Red Bull Ricky, combining Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka with Blueberry Red Bull. While clubby by nature, the crowd-favorite Blicky was surprisingly well balanced. My personal favorite, the Watermelon Spritz, was mixed with cold-pressed lime juice, agave,
and a hint of basil.

Since The Pub has been around a long time – both as Joyce’s Family Pub and Tara’s Tipperary Tavern (in my lifetime) – MacIntyre explained that the restaurant holds the spirit of its Irish pub roots by keeping things like Bangers and Mashed on the menu, along with adding a few modern takes like the Irish Nachos and Reuben Eggrolls. With new chef Alvie McClasky recently joining the team, the restaurant has leveled up their menu and expanded their kitchen hours to midnight daily.

In full staycation mode, we enjoyed the sunshine and bevvies long enough to work up a big appetite. We opened the meal with a half pound of Chilled Peel and Eat Shrimp, Mason Jar Meatballs, and a basket of Frickles. The shrimp were hardy and well-seasoned, way tastier than your average vehicle-for-cocktail-sauce appetizer. The sweet and spicy mini meatballs had a kick of habanero, plus pineapple chunks and pico de gallo topping. The fried pickles had just the right amount of fry – indulgent but endlessly snackable.

When it came time for entrees, my friend went for the Chicken and Waffles, the latter offering an exquisite crunch of caramelized syrup complemented by savory, crispy fried chicken and a drizzle of spicy honey glaze. In search of a healthy option that wasn’t a Caesar salad, I chose the Roast Veggie Quinoa Bowl, which was packed with carrots, peppers, roasted broccoli, and greens. My sister, joining us late, didn’t think twice about her selection, the Salmon BLT Wrap, which she’s had a few times since they started serving it two months ago. Between the jalapeño bacon and a tangy dill remoulade, who can blame her?

A huge part of The Pub experience is the camaraderie of going on a weeknight for one of their many regular events, including my sister’s favorites, trivia night and karaoke – AKA Pub-e-Okee – that attract enthusiastic regulars. You’d be hard-pressed to find a livelier bunch when Sea Shanty Night (which happened earlier this summer) takes over the indoor bar.

Laughing and full, we closed the meal out watching the sun begin to set over the Atlantic. The way I see it, if you’re not a local, The Pub is worth the drive, and if you are a local, it’s worth the walk.


The Pub in Matunuck

907 Matunuck Beach Road • 284-1901




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