Celtic Crossings: Best Guinness Pour in AZ

Celtic Crossings: Best Guinness Pour in AZ
Mick Zano

Prescott, AZ—This article has been a long time in the drinking.  I have several crib notes on this place that have since been completely lost, which is a compliment to the establishment.  I found Celtic Crossings a couple of years ago and now it has become one of my favorite Arizona Irish pubs.  In fact, this pub changed my life…just not for the better.

How did it I find it, you ask?  Well, therein hangs the tale.  The girls and I were shopping one day at the Gateway Mall in Prescott, which is one of the coolest malls EVER.  This is one mall where I could learn to become a mall rat.  There’s an outdoor section with a Wildflower Bread Company, Makaros, as well as the aforementioned Celtic Crossings—all right across from a Barnes and Noble.  Too bad they banned me.  For the record, I think you should be able to trip your balls off, naked, in the New Age section…but that’s just me. Besides, they should never have good pubs too close to good book stores; it’s a dangerous combo.

Back to the pub: so we’re doing some Christmas shopping and everyone wanted to eat.

“Let’s eat somewhere here,” my wife said.

And, I quickly countered with, “Ahhh, we’re a few miles from downtown Prescott, a town where I have a number of ‘happy places.’”  I decided to counter with this: “Sure this is a very cool mall, but…no, two words ‘downtown.’”

My wife walked over to the directory and said, “Look honey, there’s an Irish pub right here in the mall.”

“Wow, what will they think of next?”

I have been to my share of mall bars and, by that I mean, I’ve walked into many a dark rectangular-shaped hell hole.  You know them as those places where men sit in a shopper’s purgatory, waiting for their women to finish off their credit history. They sit there sadly sipping at any number of overpriced Budweiser products while contemplating suicide, or worse.  Sorry, experiencing 17,000 of these poorly-lit Bud Light shitholes have jaded my opinion.  Sure, shitty mall joints serve their purpose, but after  thousands…fool me a lot shame on you, fool me twi…we won’t get fooled again!

Back to the story, so my wife wants to eat at the mall.  She’s a cheap date, which is why I married her, but still not wanting to concede, I resorted to “bu-bu-but the Raven, and Prescott Brewing Co. and that place that still lets me in…”

This battle I thankfully lost as they were hungry and I was outvoted 2 to 1.  So we entered Celtic Crossings, a place destined to become one of my favorite AZ pubs.  I recently did a story on Mooney’s Irish Pub, which has a very good Guinness on tap, but the gold star standard goes to this joint.  Great Irish tunes are always playing, there’s an outdoor area, and the fish and chips are the best in AZ, hands down.

The place has no business being this good, in a mall

Gary, the owner, is doing the thing he was born to do…  "wait on me."
Gary, the owner, is doing the thing he
was born to do…  “wait on me.”

The owner, Gary, is serious about beer.  I usually talk to Dave, the owner’s son, who is not beyond wearing a kilt on any given Tuesday.

Your 10th Guinness is on the house at the Crossings, but I have had little luck on any of these card bunch freebies south of Flagstaff.  Between Flag and Prescott (exit 262 on 17) stood Over the Hill Espresso.  To commemorate my 10th Americano there, the placed closed.  I still have the completely punched card and sometimes I gaze upon it and weep.  My 10th Guinness at this bar ended no differently.  Did I mention the place is 90 miles from my home?  My 10th pint anniversary happened to fall on my father’s first trip to Celtic Crossings.  He treated all of us to food and drink, so the freebie went all but unnoticed when the bill came.  In fact, he tipped an extra five spot just to rub it in.

If you ever find the women folk shopping in Prescott, let them shop…I have a plan.

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