UndiSCovered: O’Hara’s Public House And Bakery Cafe

Bringing the luck of the Irish to Lexington, S.C.

by ANGELA SCHUMPERT || A Public House … what is it? The Public House or “Pub” for short is an old English term used by establishments to let travelers know “all are welcome.” The traditional Irish Pub embodies this sentiment – welcoming all and creating an atmosphere for families, fun and fantastic food.

O’Hara’s Public House in Lexington, S.C. has all of the above. Since its opening, the powerhouse of downtown Lexington has seen significant growth – and become one of the most popular spots on Main Street. With the recent addition of O’Hara’s Bakery Cafe, this Irish Pub has stepped out and stepped up – emerging as one of the region’s hottest gathering spots.

Owner Matt O’Hara – who worked in various restaurants throughout his time in college at the University of Pittsburgh – always had a vision for a Public House-style establishment. After a twenty-five year career in sales and marketing, he was finally ready to bring together all the knowledge and experience required to make that vision a reality – recalling all the do’s and don’ts from his previous restaurant work.

“I was approaching fifty, and had sold a business a few years prior,” O’Hara said. “I was trying to figure out what was the next thing I was going to do. I had my eye on The Main Street Café because I knew it would be a perfect spot for my Irish Pub.”

When 131 Main Street in Lexington (formerly The Main Street Café) became available in 2016, O’Hara wasted little time acquiring the property. He began work on what would become O’Hara’s Public House. As part of his preparations, he spent a week in Dublin, Ireland visiting Irish Pubs and zeroing in on what made them special.

“The Pub in Ireland and in Irish culture is a place where the community comes together,” he said. “I felt that our town would benefit from having something like that.”



Recently, O’Hara’s turned what used to be The Haven Coffee House into a reimagined bakery and café. Located at 121 Main Street (just a few doors down from O’Hara’s Public House), O’Hara’s Bakery Cafe is an evening dessert bar, a breakfast/ brunch spot, and a coffee joint.

As soon as you open the door to the bakery, you’re greeted by the aroma of fresh coffee and tantalizing baked goods. The first thing you notice is the delectable array of desserts displayed in a case in the front of the café. Cookies, cakes and scones pull you along to a long black bar with seating.

(Click to view)

(Via: O’Hara’s Bakery Cafe)

Guests can choose from breakfast items, homemade croissants, cheddar biscuits and more as the have a seat at the bar – or join friends at one of the many tables available for dining in the bakery.

In the evening, the lights are dimmed and the Café offers a more intimate dining experience. Order the best-selling red velvet cake paired with a glass of wine; or try a boozy milkshake, signature cocktail or Chocolate Temptation cake. For those of you hip to local dessert history, the Chocolate Temptation cake is a recipe from the former Chocolate Nirvana Café in Columbia that closed in 2019.

Whatever confection you choose, the Bakery Café is a perfect place to indulge the finest drinks and desserts after a big dinner at the Pub.



Interested in checking out the pub on one of its most festive days of the year? The traditional Lexington, S.C. Shamrock Parade and Concert will be held Saturday March 12 beginning at 2:00 p.m. EST at the Icehouse Amphitheater. There will be food vendors and drinks to purchase, as well as live music starting at 3:30 p.m. EST. One of the acts scheduled to perform is The Bograts, an Irish duo from Charleston.

O’Hara’s Public House and Bakery is also celebrating St. Patrick’s Day the same Saturday. Since its opening, O’Hara’s has been a focal point for St. Patrick’s Day in downtown Lexington. They will be celebrating on the 12th as well as the 17th of March (the official St. Patrick’s Day).

For kids, there will be face painting, a bouncy castle and a giant slide on Saturday – open for two hours before the parade and two hours after. Come into the restaurants and order a meal and the kids can receive a free shamrock cookie from the 12th of March to the 17th.

The Pub and Bakery will be offering their St. Patrick’s Day menu. Choose from Shepherds Pie, Guinness Stew, Bangers and Mash and Fish and Chips, to name a few. They will have something for everyone and a family friendly environment.



BUSINESS: O’Hara’s Public House and O’Hara’s Bakery Cafe
INDUSTRY: Restaurant and Bakery
OWNER: Matt O’Hara
LOCATION: 131 Main St. Lexington SC (Pub) and 121 Main St. Lexington SC (Bakery)
OTHER LINKS: Facebook @oharasph & @oharasbakerycafe – Instagram @oharasph & @oharasbakerycafe




(Via: Lexington Yankee)

Angela Schumpert is a wife, mother and veteran of the United States Air Force. Originally from Ohio, she is a Buckeye fan and loves college football. Angela loves to write about local hot spots, so if you know of one, let her know!  She is the creator of Lexington Yankee Blog.



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