With dishes like pot pie, shepherd’s pie, and even a Reuben, O’Mara’s Restaurant in Berkely likes to serve up the classics with a focus on ingredients.
“My dad would take us up to his cousin’s farms, up in the thumb area of Michigan, and it was all what they would call organically, pasture-raised,” explains Kevin O’Mara, the owner. “So I am very interested now in where everything came from.”
O’Mara’s passion for food started young, as he worked in restaurants all through high school, but he also had a passion for science. He ended up doing both. While going to college in pursuit of a science degree, and opening up his own laboratory business, he continued to work at restaurants.
Eventually, in 1994 he opened O’Mara’s Restaurant on the corner of Coolidge and 12 Mile in Berkely. It started off as a brewpub with an Irish slant, but overtime he became more focused on “the desserts rather than the beer” as he put it, and it transformed into a restaurant instead.
“What I really like about the Irish slant on things, is the focus on hospitality,” says O’Mara.
Then in 2020, O’Mara’s Restaurant suffered a bad fire. It took over two years for them to open back up, but in that time, he re-thought his restaurant and got back to his roots. He added a “farm” to the restaurant, lining the walls with growing veggies and herbs under grow lights to supply the restaurant. The menu was also re-thought, as he really looked into the sourcing of his ingredients opting for cleaner, more organically grown, and locally grown options.
The menu is still full of delicious bar and Irish classics, but he also added some new dishes like their many tacos, some of which feature organic beef. You can see the quality in dishes like their fish and chips, which he chooses to pan fry in olive oil, or in their mushroom pot pie which features gourmet, locally grown, Wolgast Mushrooms. Other favorites include their Sheppard’s pie (again made with organic beef), and their Rueben with Wigley’s corned beef.
For the full story, watch the video above.
If you would like to try O’Mara’s Restaurant, they are located at 2555 Twelve Mile Road in Berkley.