Maloney’s Pub & Grill

117 Main Street, Matawan, NJ



Maloney’s Pub & Grill on Main Street in Matawan, NJ is a difficult pub to writeabout for me. I like the pub, I go there about once a month, but they make it pretty difficult.  I want to love the place. It looks right, it feels right, but the service and food need improvement and consistency.

The owners genuinely want to have a real Irish feel, but it’s a little hard when business is slow. Not too many of the clientele care about an Irish atmosphere and you don’t want to drive away the regulars. So I can understand their dilemma.

Next, the layout. Maloney’s, split into three sections, has a bar area with table seating, a section of booths and a table area. The L-shaped bar can seat around 20 people and there are about 8 tables. I really like the hurley sticks by the bar tables. They also have Guinness mirrors and posters of Irish pubs. It truly looks nice.

Maloney's Pub Bar

Eight six-person booths are located behind the bar tables. This area is great if you’re looking for a secluded are for a date or a family dinner where you don’t have to shout to the person next to you. Each booth has it’s own picture of Ireland or a framed poem.

The dining area has about 20 tables that seat 4 people. Framed Guinness posters are the big decorations here, along with a personal touch. The owner’s father-in-law served in the military and the flag from his funeral, along with a plaque serve as a nice centerpiece in the room, honoring his memory and everyone else serving or who has served our country.

The food is hit or miss. Sometimes you get a meal that you expect at a five star restaurant, and other times, not even close. I don’t

Maloney's Booth Seating

understand the inconsistency, but I wonder what kind of food I’m going to get when I order a hamburger. I went there when it first opened in 2009 and I had my typical bangers and mash and it was spectacular. That was the only time in two years that Maloney’s had it in stock. They even took most of their Irish dishes off the menu. The menu now is very I was there, they ran out of corned beef. The well-done burger I ordered instead was was burnt. I know, I ordered it well done, but there is a huge difference between well done and burnt. When I inquired about it, I was told “Well maybe you wanted it medium.”

Maloney’s strong point is their variety of beer. They offer 40 beers on tap and even more bottled. The problem is they claim to offer 250 beers, but that includes seasonal beers and

Bar Area Seating

beers that they only carry when they have it. Maloney’s still offers a wide variety of beer, but not as much as they advertise. The Guinness is o.k. Nothing great, but o.k. It’s not served in the 20oz tulip glass, or even the 16oz Guinness glass, just a regular American pint glass. Only one person there can get the pour right, otherwise you get half a glass of foam. So again, Maloney’s comes up iffy.

Kevin Guerin and Round the House Band play there once a month on a Sunday evening. That’s the only time I normally go and the place is near empty other than the group I go with.

All in all, it’s worth the risk, but if you get a meal not up to par, don’t say I didn’t warn ya. Then again, it could come out extraordinary. Til next time.




About EJ Campbell
I am a graduate public relations student at Rowan University and my professor assigned us to start a blog. Like a lot of things in my life, I incorporated my Irish heritage into it. I study Irish history and folklore in my free time and play Irish music on the guitar and mandolin. Through the course of following Irish music and my two mentors, Kevin Guerin and Willie Lynch, I have come to know some of the finest Irish establishments in New Jersey and the surrounding area. I'd like to share some of them with you. I received my bachelor's degree from Rowan in radio, TV and film where I focused on radio. I joined Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM and remain active until today. I served as Operations Manager, Student Manager and am Public Affairs Director for my graduate year.My work has won numerous awards on local and national levels.

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