BY JILL NAGY
Comfort foods and craft beers are featured
at Henry’s Irish Tavern at 19 Front St. in
Ballston Spa, described by owner Matt Hickey
as “a neighborhood tavern and restaurant.”
The tavern has been open for six months
and, according to Hickey, it has been packed
every night. It’s “a very very busy place,” he said.
The eclectic menu includes a few Irish
dishes, like shepherd’s pie and fish and chips,
A recent special called hog wings was such a
hit that it will become a regular menu item,
he said. Hog wings are pork shanks with a
There are a variety of fish and seafood
dishes, steaks, and burgers on the dinner menu.
For a smaller dish to go with the craft beer,
the tavern offers poutine, nachos, garlic bread
and flatbread pizzas. Poutine is a Quebecois
dish consisting of French fries with gravy and
Hickey felt that the time was right for an
upscale bar in Ballston Spa.
“It’s one of the few places to go in Ballston
Spa right now,” he said.
In addition to food and drink, Henry’s Irish
Tavern has live music three nights a week.
There is indoor seating at tables and at the
bar and an outdoor patio that will stay open
as long as the weather allows. They take reservations
for large parties: six or more people.
Currently, there are 25 employees.
Hickey spent three months remodeling a
building that had been a plumbing shop and
then a hydroponics store. He put in a copper
bar and a 14-foot stone fireplace. Previously, he
rehabbed several other buildings in the village
but “I really liked this building,” he said.
When no one else seemed to be interested
in developing it into a restaurant and bar, he
decided to do it himself.
Hickey is a novice in the restaurant business.
Aside from rehabbing buildings, he owns a
mortgage company. He has been in that business
for almost 20 years and the company
now has about 50 employees. He grew up in
Ballston Spa and graduated from Ballston Spa
The tavern’s website is henrysirishtavern.
com. The telephone number is 573-8221.