Getting to Know Universal – Finnegan’s Bar & Grill

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Pull up a seat and order a pint of Guinness, this week Getting to Know Universal is covering Finnegan’s Bar & Grill at Universal Studios Florida. Lovingly referred to as “Finn’s” by its fans, the Irish pub opened with the park in 1990 and is located across from the Revenge of the Mummy attraction.

Quick Glance

  • Location: Universal Studios Florida
  • Cuisine: Irish American
  • Service: Full service
  • Price: $13-$20 per entree
  • Universal Dining Plan Accepted: Yes
  • Touring Plans Rating: 2 1/2 stars, 83% reader approval
  • Seating: Indoor tables and booths

The Experience

Finnegan’s bar seating area. Photograph courtesy Universal Orlando.

Situated behind the false facades of the New York Backlot section of the park, Finnegan’s is one of the park’s two sit-down restaurants. The interior, inspired by the 1978 film The Brinks Job, replicates a film set with incomplete walls where cameras would be placed. The main dining room features wood flooring, tall ceilings, white walls, and wooden sports plaques on the walls while on the bar side is covered in Guinness posters and features a room-length carved, wooden bar.

Finnegan’s is casual dining–the waiters are laid back and conversational. Bar staff are veterans of the park and know their stuff; locals are frequently found saddled up to the bar for a drink. The bar is also the only place in the park that consistently shows sporting events. On select days musicians play in the bar, adding energy to the restaurant. During Halloween Horror Nights the restaurant quickly fills up for a late lunch as guests prepare for Stay and Scream.

The Food & Drink

Finn’s serves up no-frills Irish American food; think Shepherd’s Pie and fish and chips served in newspaper. Specialties include Onion and Potato Web (thin string onions and potatoes beer-battered and fried), Guinness Beef Stew, and corned beef sandwiches. On the “American” side of the menu burgers, salads, and chicken sandwiches are offered. If the wait at Leaky Cauldron is too long, make sure to roll over to Finn’s as their fish and chips are near identical. All meals come with free soda bread and apple butter. Be warned, both are addictive!

Bartender Jan mixing drinks. Photograph courtesy Universal Orlando.

“Bar” comes first in Finn’s name so the staff behind the intricate wooden bar have a lot to live up to. Thankfully they do as many of the bartenders originate from the opening of the park in 1990. Draft selections err of the side of mass-market and include Yuengling, Bud Light, Miller Light, Blue Moon, Strongbow, Harp, Smithwick’s, and Sam Adams. Where Finn’s shines are their custom cocktails including fun Universal Orlando-themed drinks such as Twister, Shark Attack, and Earthquake. Custom mixed drinks, wine, bottled beer, and non-alcoholic drink options also are available.

The Opinion

Finnegan’s Bar & Grill serves up a family-friendly comfort food menu everyone can enjoy. The restaurant side is casual enough for kids and the bar side welcoming for adults. I usually find myself at Finn’s to order beers but if I stay for lunch I usually end up ordering the fish and chips or a salad with the chicken tenders appetizer. If you are looking for something more upscale check out Lombard’s Seafood Grille in the same park or Mythos in Islands of Adventure.

Have you eaten at Finnegan’s? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Joseph Matt

Avid amusement park and video game fan. Enjoys picking up rare beers at breweries, exploring cities, cooking, and sports.

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