Restaurant Review

Molly Malone's Irish Pub reinvents itself as a roadhouse and drive-in

Sanet Oberholzer heads to Fourways to catch a flick and sample a shake

13 August 2020 - 09:11 By Sanet Oberholzer
Molly Malone's Irish Pub in Fourways, Joburg, doubles as a drive-in on the weekends.
Molly Malone's Irish Pub in Fourways, Joburg, doubles as a drive-in on the weekends.
Image: Supplied

Roadhouses trigger fond childhood memories. I’m not sure when we stopped going to them but there always was a certain charm to pulling up, examining the menu – often sprawled across the building in huge lettering – and flashing your car’s lights to call the waitron, who would later balance a tray of food on your car window.

It might be an old-timey concept, but it’s certainly one that works in the time of Covid-19 – at least that’s what the owners of Molly Malone's Irish Pub in Fourways, Joburg, had banked on when they converted their parking space into a roadhouse and drive-in.

Intrigued by the concept, my husband and I paid them a visit on a Friday afternoon. It seemed odd that we were asked if we had a reservation when arriving – the roadhouse parking lot was mostly empty, save for two cars. But as 6pm drew nearer, it filled up with eager patrons assembling for that night's drive-in movie, School of Rock.

Ordering anything to drink other than a milkshake just seems wrong when you're at a roadhouse. The cheesecake-flavoured one I ordered was a deliciously unusual option, but I must warn Nutella lovers: the Nutella milkshake I tasted clearly lacked the dreamy hazelnut taste you would expect. Instead, I was distinctly reminded of the chocolate syrup I smothered my vanilla ice cream cones with as a child.

While we waited for our food to arrive, we tuned in to the right frequency on the radio and were able to watch a Dexter’s Laboratory cartoon, flighted ahead of the main feature, on the big screen set up at the front of the parking lot. “I love Dexter!” my husband squealed.

I love fish, but I’m hardly a fan of the battered variety us Gautengers have to resort to so often, which is why I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the fish and chips with fresh tartar sauce I ordered. The Johnny Fox burger with cheese, bacon and honey mustard was packed with satisfying BBQ flavours.

I was slightly disappointed with my serving of Durban-style curry. Then again, I don’t think one should be ordering curry from an Irish Pub — that one was on me. I had major post-order regret at the thought of the beef-and-Guinness home-style pie I could’ve devoured had I been patient enough to wait 40 minutes it took to prepare.

If you decide to pull through for a movie, all sorts of yummy treats are on offer that will fill your heart with joy: popcorn, chocolate chip cookies, toffee apples, Rice Crispy treats and that Jozi favourite, Paul’s Homemade Ice Cream.

If you’ve had a rough day of home-schooling the kids, load them up and take them for dinner and a movie. Judging from the pleased looks of those who had gathered, pillows in tow, it seems to be a popular choice.

If nothing else, it’s a fun walk down memory lane .

Visit Molly Malone's Irish Pub at the Design and Decor Centre, cnr Forest Rd and Sunset Boulevard, Pineslopes, Fourways. Movies are screened at 6pm on Fridays and at 1pm and 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays. On Tuesdays they host a quiz night. To make a booking call 011 467 8052, WhatsApp 082 821 1606 or make an electronic booking here.