As a teen growing up in an Irish and Italian neighborhood in New York, Tom McGill got his start in the restaurant industry bussing tables at a pizza joint. He went on to become a bartender and bookkeeper at another New York restaurant and eventually earned a degree in accounting. In 1988, he co-owned his first restaurant. During the ensuing decades, McGill continued gathering industry experience and in 2022, he opened McNeal’s Tavern and Eatery with business partner Chris O’Neal.

What’s in a name?

McGill and O’Neal created their business name by merging their Irish names together.

“We wanted a spin-off of an Irish pub,” McGill said. “We wanted to have a neighborhood community bar that people would say, ‘This is my place.’”

What’s on the menu?

McGill said their menu is approximately 30% Irish fare, such as bangers and mash, and shepherd’s pie, while the rest of the menu features a variety of elevated pub food.

Prior to opening the restaurant, an executive chef was hired to help create the menu and recipes. McGill said the advice they got from him in terms of choosing quality ingredients has proven beneficial and points to the McNeal’s Classic Burger to exemplify the concept.

“Everyone does frozen burger patties, but not our burger. We have a combination of beef, short rib and brisket mixed together,” he said. “He told us this will be so good no one will ask you for salt and pepper and they will never put ketchup on this burger.”

Looking for a libation?

There are 24 beers on draft, which are rotated out seasonally. McGill said they also have a good selection of scotch and bourbons.

“The biggest compliment we get is people who come in from Scotland and England, and they say, ‘We hear you pour the best Guinness,’’' McGill said. “People say to me, ‘My husband makes me come 20 minutes across town to get your Guinness. I say, ‘Well, good.’”

1422 K Ave., Plano