Tuesday, June 4, 2019
By COREY CRISAN
An interview with Rick Metts, Owner of Ricky's English Pub. This video feature is from Valley Deals 365, a partnership between The Vindicator and 21 WFMJ-TV. Visit Valleydeals365.com
$20 voucher for $10 to Candella Micro-Distillery
In Partnership with 21 WFMJ-TV
The tradition around the city of Salem is mirrored by an established venue that is one of its kind in the Mahoning Valley. Rick Metts opened his English-style pub in 2001 and it has served family recipes in a cultured environment ever since. Ricky’s English Pub is tucked in next to Lyle Printing Publishing on State Street, but that has not stopped Metts from expanding his place in the valley’s culinary scene as it nears the end of its second decade.
“It was something I always wanted to do,” Metts said. “When I grew up, my family owned restaurants and bars in the area. Lucky for me, it took off, and it was a great success. When I opened up, a lot of my family came to work for me.”
His family truly was all-in with him. So much so, Rick utilizes their recipes for the English specialties on the menu.
“My mom’s family is English and Scottish,” he said. “My nana used to make shepherd’s pie, so I grew up around that. I always liked the theme of English, so I went with that when I opened up. It was actually a hit because there was really nothing else in town like that.”
In addition to the shepherd’s pie, an English pub would be incomplete without its fish and chips. Ricky’s does fish and chips in one of two ways: a classic batter and a Guinness beer batter. Other English favorites on the menu include bubble and squeak, bangers and mash, and a Welsh rarebit.
“[The Guinness batter] is a little bit sweeter,” Metts said. “Bubble and squeak is basically a fried potatoes and cabbage dish, and the bangers and mash, of course, is sausage with mashed potatoes. They’re all pretty popular dishes here.”
Not only can customers sample the beer batter as part of their meal, but the English favorites are also on tap at Ricky’s.
“Guinness is on tap,” Metts said. “We serve [Yuengling] Black & Tan. We also have a double chocolate stout that’s popular, Boddington’s Ale, and then we have another beer called Old Speckled Hen. That’s another British beer, and that’s popular, too.”
Ricky’s keeps a vintage feel to its decor. Wood paneling at every corner of the restaurant and the bar, paintings, caricatures and even some donated memorabilia. Classic medals from horse competitions and even a preserved sign from World War II can be found hanging near and behind the bar.
“Horse brass from horse shows were donated by a British couple who had moved,” he said. “The World War II sign was also donated by a customer of mine. The other things, I’ve pretty much picked up here and there at antique stores, or just had them for years through the family.”
The World War II sign reads: “BE BRITISH. KEEP YOUR CHIN UP!! This War May Be Long, It May Be Tough, but… WE SHALL WIN.”
Ricky’s English Pub is open daily at 11:30 a.m. and is closed Sundays. For the full menu and catering information, visit rickysenglishpub.com.