Get your corned beef fix from J.J. Kelley's
By Carrie Steinweg published February 26, 2020
One of my favorite local spots for some casual bites in the south suburbs is a pub and restaurant called J.J. Kelley’s in Lansing. There’s a shamrock in the logo and while there’s a bit of an Irish theme going on, the green has come to represent camouflage as much as Irish roots because the owners are big supporters of local military members and veterans.
One wall of the bar is painted in digital camouflage with photographs hung of local Marines (some from other branches, too, but the majority are Marines) and they host a big event each year on the birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps where veterans and current enlistees are invited in for a complimentary meal, program and a cake cutting ceremony. They also have hosted a number of fundraisers for military organizations and I’ve always admired the efforts of the Kelley’s to support and honor our nation’s military heroes and particularly those who have served from close to home.
As far as the food, March is probably my favorite time to stop in because I know the menu will have a handful of Irish specialties. They often have shepherd’s pie and some other Irish-inspired foods on their March menu, but I can never pass up their corned beef platter with piles of thinly-sliced lean corned beef over a bed of buttery potatoes, fresh and roughly-cut carrots and boiled cabbage. Once we’ve moved beyond St. Patrick’s Day, I can still enjoy that corned beef all year long on one of their amazing Reuben sandwiches. I’ve eaten a lot of Reubens over the years and there are two tied for first place in my book - one is from Nelson’s Saloon in Three Oaks, Michigan and the other is from J.J. Kelley’s. It’s stuffed with kraut and Swiss cheese and thousand island dressing and corned beef between some perfectly toasted rye bread. And then to top it off, it’s served with their homemade potato chips.
They’ll have some special entertainment lined up around St. Patrick’s Day, too, which includes Windy City Dueling Pianos on March 15 and a St. Baldrick’s Event on March 21 where customers will be shaving their heads to raise money for childhood cancer research.
Some tips on visiting:
- On Friday evenings a soup and salad bar (and sometimes even dessert, too) are included with your meal when you dine in. They have a special menu each Friday evening (it varies each week) and you'll find nice options such as prime rib, shrimp franchise and lamb chops.
- On Thursdays there is a dine-in special of 50 cent beef, chicken & pork tacos and chicken & cheese flautas.
- Weekly specials include a number of sandwiches and entrees which include a side and soup.
- Check the Facebook page regularly for updates on their live entertainment.
- There's a nice selection of craft beers.
For more information, follow along on Facebook.
2455 Bernice Road