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Posted by Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

By Phyllis M. Cahaly, CMD, Director of Partnership Marketing, Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

Jump to recipe for Brendan’s Now Legendary Irish Potato Pizza

Jump to March Calendar of Culinary Events

Céad Míle Fáilte (A Hundred Thousand Welcomes!)

Are you searching for a great place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this month with authentic Irish cuisine and heritage music? O’Connor’s Restaurant & Bar in Worcester, Massachusetts has you covered! With menu items like Dougal’s ‘Braveheart’ Scotch Egg, Guinness Glazed BBQ Chicken Wings, “Lucey’s” Baked Corned Beef Shillelagh Sticks and the Proper Irish Burger, you know you’ve come to the right place for mouth-watering, belly-filling comfort food prepared just the way they should be! These standard Irish American offerings can be found year-round on the menu at O’Connor’s Restaurant & Bar located at 1160 West Boylston Street, Exit 4 (I-190) Worcester, Massachusetts.

The Exterior of O'Connor's Restaurant and Bar in Worcester, Massachusetts.

The Exterior of O’Connor’s Restaurant & Bar in Worcester, Massachusetts.

The secret to these, and many more delectable menu selections, is their consistent, high-quality products coupled with the way the food is prepared under the watchful eye of Head Chef Genisson Santos. Chef Santos is synonymous with O’Connor’s and has been the anchor in the kitchen for 14 years and has held the position of Head Chef for the last nine years.

Unlike many Head Chefs, Chef Santos continues to work side-by-side on the line with his kitchen staff, helping and training them every step of the way to guarantee consistency and quality assurance in all areas of service.

Chef Santos, a native of Brazil, was lured to Worcester, Massachusetts by his siblings and at the young age of 16, met Brenden and Claire O’Connor, original owners of O’Connor’s and the rest is now history. “I met Brendan when I was 16 years old and started working for him,” says Chef Santos. “I was doing many different things around the restaurant and then, when I was 18, I started doing prep work in the kitchen and then that was it!” From that point on, Chef Santos made O’Connor’s kitchen his home-away-from-home. He has touched every aspect of cookery from purchasing products to prepping to recipe testing to plating and serving. His faithful kitchen staff of 7 are well-trained under Chef Santos who bestows his enthusiasm and experience upon each member of his team especially as they rev up now for ‘The Big Day”, St. Patrick’s Day on Sunday, March 17! While O’Connor’s is typically closed on Sundays, this year, they will be open on Sunday, March 10 and March 17.

A plate of O'Connor's Corned Beef and Cabbage

A plate of O’Connor’s Restaurant and Bar’s Corned Beef and Cabbage.

“We really celebrate St. Patrick’s Day over a two-week period,” says Chef Santos, “We’ll cook about 2,000 pounds of our popular corned beef and cabbage, we’ll have live Irish dancers and live Irish music as well as serving, of course, a lot of Guinness Beer!” Chef Santos will also be dishing out endless orders of Brendan’s Now Legendary Irish Potato Pizza and Buffalo Bleu Cauliflower from their Appetizers & Shareables selection along with their Rye Red Reuben, O’C’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich and of course, Genisson’s House-Made Mac & Cheese with Cavatappi pasta oozing in a four-cheese sauce, then baked in a skillet and topped with panko crumbs. Say no more!

O'Connor's Shepherd's Pie and other main dishes

O’Connor’s Restaurant & Bar’s Shepherd’s Pie and other main dishes.

“We love to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day but really, we celebrate the Irish American menu all year-long,” touts Chef Santos. “It’s authentic and reliable and we do the same thing all the time which makes it genuine.”

The interior of O'Connor's Bar in Worcester, Massachusetts.

The interior of O’Connor’s Restaurant & Bar in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Original owners Brendan and Claire O’Connor started the iconic O’Connor’s Restaurant & Bar in 1989, only one year after immigrating from Limerick, Ireland. Through hard work, tasty menu items and a loyal, dedicated staff, like Chef Santos, this restaurant soon became a staple in Worcester and throughout surrounding towns.

The interior nook of O'connor's Restaurant and bar in Worcester, MA.

The interior nook of O’Connor’s Restaurant & Bar in Worcester, MA.

Over the years, O’Connor’s has built a solid reputation as a cozy Irish pub and a gathering place for life’s everyday celebrations accompanied by good food, good friends and good drinks. Additionally, O’Connor’s has plenty of private event and catering programs within its multiple function rooms popular for anniversaries, birthdays and other celebrations.

The front interior of O'Connor's restaurant and Bar in Worcester, Massachusetts.

The front interior of O’Connor’s Restaurant & Bar in Worcester, Massachusetts.

O’Connor’s has 480 seats and is open for indoor and outdoor dining (seasonal), takeout and curbside pickup Monday through Saturday. In the upcoming warmer months, they will open their Beer Garden Patio complete with soft lighting and foliage. Reservations are accepted Monday through Thursday for parties of any size; reservations are accepted Fridays and Saturdays for parties of five or more.

The restaurant, led by owner Kyle Maxwell alongside his parents Dennis and Jennifer, was purchase in 2022. Kyle, who handles the day-to-day operations of the business is taking the lead in ensuring a smooth transition. Brendan O’Connor, the previous owner, remained onboard for a few months to assist the new ownership. “We don’t want to change much. It has such a great soul in it,” said Kyle Maxwell. “Brendan has done such a great job building it up to what it is now and we’re looking to maintain that.”

Fish tacos from O'Connor's restaurant and bar in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Fish tacos from O’Connor’s Restaurant & Bar in Worcester, Massachusetts.

With the ongoing steady help of Chef Santos, O’Connor’s has done just that, maintained the success of a well-storied establishment and the admiration of their loyal patrons. The Maxwells have also added a few new well-received twists and special events to the restaurant like live Irish music and entertainment 3 times a month, Kids Eat Free Mondays (12 and under with the purchase of an adult entrée), and Wednesday Trivia Night.

The interior parlor of O'Connor's Restaurant and Bar in Worcester, Massachusetts.

The interior parlor of O’Connor’s Restaurant & Bar in Worcester, Massachusetts.

While Chef Santos enjoys the fare at O’Connor’s, as a Brazilian, he has a special affinity to his native Brazilian food and during down time, loves preparing traditional beans and rice and other Brazilian delicacies with his family and loved ones.

Chef Santos has lived in Worcester for the last 14 years and enjoys traveling around Massachusetts. He has visited many tourism areas and likes discovering new things to do. He is especially attracted to Cape Cod and enjoys visiting there as often as possible.

Chef Santos is sincere when he says “I like my job, I’m a hard worker and I don’t see myself doing anything else.” Thanks Chef Santos, we’ll happily come and visit you any time at O’Connor’s Restaurant & Bar! Sláinte! (Cheers!).

Brendan’s Now Legendary Irish Potato Pizza

Brendan's Now Legendary Irish Potato Pizza

Brendan’s Now Legendary Irish Potato Pizza.

Courtesy of Head Chef Genisson Santos, O’Connor’s Restaurant & Bar

The Famous Dipping Sauce

  • Mayo: 1/2 cup
  • Sour cream: 1/2 cup
  • Lemon juice: 1 tablespoon
  • Paprika: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Chives: 1 tablespoon, chopped

For the potato pizza:

  • Potato skins: 3 cooked potatoes, skinned
  • Grated Parmesan cheese: 1/4 cup
  • Cheddar cheese: 3/4 cup, shredded
  • Mozzarella cheese: 1/2 cup, shredded
  • Chopped tomatoes: 1/2 cup
  • Sliced mushrooms: 1/2 cup
  • Roasted red pepper, chopped: 1/4 cup
  • Bacon: 4 strips, cooked and crumbled
  • Scallions: 2 tablespoons, chopped

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix ingredients and pour into a cast-iron skillet. Cook for 25 minutes or until top is browned and crispy.

These measurements are approximate and can be adjusted based on your preferences.

Download a PDF of this recipe.

March Culinary Events

Photos courtesy of O’Connor’s Restaurant & Bar, Worcester, Massachusetts