Sisters Separated by 25 Miles
The PubScout visits The Joyce Pub in Leland, sister restaurant to the Pub at Souhtport.
There’s a pretty famous restaurant in NOLA called the “Court of Two Sisters,” but this ain’t that. (Don’t despair … that I taught English for 37 years will become abundantly clear later on.)
For starters, this sisterhood is right here in Brunswick County, NC, and they are separated by just the 25 miles between Southport and Leland. But make no mistake: these sisters tout some excellent pub ambience and solid fare with an Irish flair.
I reported on the Pub at Southport some months ago, one of those “club” pubs in NC you have to “join” to be able to enjoy their offerings of libation and victual. That club designation allows them to serve alcohol past 11 pm, as it’s a “private club,” you see.
That it costs just a buck to be a member for a year doesn’t matter — a private club is a private club.
So, the other night I wended my way to Leland to visit The Joyce Pub in that massive complex outside Brunswick Forest in Leland called The Villages. That it was a convenient halfway point for two real-life sisters to meet made it attractive, too.
The Joyce (if I have to tell you who it’s named after, you’ll have to relinquish your Irish bona fides) is owned by the same folks who own the Pub at Southport, and unlike the club pub, it’s an actual restaurant with a similarly decent beer list and solid food. So, no membership is required.
It’s also capable of expanding, since there’s a whole large adjacent room that is being prepped for use — if this COVID stuff ever resolves.
For now, cozy it is and directly across from my buddy Brian Lank’s new Coastal Integrative Health offices. The staff is both friendly and efficient, abiding by all the regulations required of servers in such places — though such regs often make it difficult to carry on an intelligible conversation with them. No matter, though, as long as they get the order right — which they invariably did.
After ordering our libations (mine was a Bell’s Two Hearted Ale, while the others had wine) and an appetizer of onion rings, which were done to perfection, we made our food selections. Lisa ordered a salmon dish, and Ray had a shepherd’s pie that was so large, he had to save half of it. Both were very pleased with their choices.
I ordered a delicious Joyce Cheesesteak, and the missus had a salad topped with about 25 blackened shrimp, which were totally worth the extra cost of just $5.99.
It was an “off night,” so the usual crowds, especially those who frequent on the weekends, were not providing the usual pub hubbub so well known in many Irish pubs … or good pubs in general.
But the lull allowed us to chat comfortably and enjoy our drinks and food in a cozy atmosphere. The food at both sisters’ places is similar, naturally, and equally good.
With an airy, covered outdoor seating area, complete with bar (probably much used during these times of limited indoor seating) and regular live entertainment, it’s not hard to see why The Joyce has thrived, even during challenging times.
Sisters properly raised have a habit of thriving, though, and who can resist properly raised Irish sisters? Stephen Dedalus couldn’t, but perhaps only an English teacher would know that.
I’ll have to go back to The Joyce on Bloomsday (if you have to ask, turn in your shillelagh)!
Want to go?
1174 Turlington Ave