Our long visit to the Midway got us tired out and thirsty, so we followed Grandpa Nelson’s direction through the old Chinatown to a place we had heard about for two years but never visited… Kells Irish Pub.
Opened in 1990 by Irish ex-pats Gerard and Lucille McAleese, the Portland Kells is a spin off of the original Kells in Seattle, Washington.
Because it is in a building built in the 1890s, Kells is reportedly haunted by several ghosts. One seems to be the spirit of a victim of the Shanghai tunnels, where drunken men were kidnapped and taken off to be crew for the old sailing ships.
Another ghost has been identified as David Campbell, a Fire Chief who died in 1911 working alongside his men in a building that exploded. He haunts the basement cigar room and is more likely to be seen by those with ties to firemen. There is also a piano that sometimes plays itself and furniture that moves.
We witnessed none of these things. What we did notice was friendly service, cozy decor, and the best bread pudding ever, to go with our Guinness and cider. There was even some Trad music (what you think of when you think of Irish music) and audience participation. It was a musical, slightly raucous respite from the Midway.
Once we were refreshed and it was properly dark outside, we went back to the Midway and found one of those benches, to sit and watch the fireworks. The combination of good company, colorful lights and fiery flowers blooming over the river made for a perfect end to a mighty fine day.