We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Our local”

The Celtic Ray Public House
Ranked #4 of 161 Restaurants in Punta Gorda
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $2 - $17
Cuisines: Irish, Bar, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Drinks, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Off-Street Parking, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Parking Available, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Takeout, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Description: FAILTE! [WELCOME!] The Celtic Ray Public House in downtown Punta Gorda opened in 1997 by Proprietor Kevin Doyle. At the time there wasn’t a single establishment in the area that offered a variety of quality imported beers and the atmosphere of a traditional Irish Pub. We serve only high-quality imported draught beers, bottled beers, ciders, fine wines, as well as, a selection of “soft” beverages. We also have expanded with the ‘other side’ and now have a full liquor bar! Our menu features traditional Irish Pub favorites made from fresh ingredients and family recipes. 

The Celtic Ray’s Fish & Chips are famous worldwide! See you at the Ray, Slainte!
Punta Gorda, Florida
Level Contributor
263 reviews
197 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 144 helpful votes
“Our local”
Reviewed December 17, 2013

The Irish pub experience is one that evokes lots of talking, lots of music, good sturdy food and plenty of wonderful beer. The Celtic Ray provides all of this and more.
This place has a checkered history, having started as a small corner pub with (a) ONLY imported beers, and (b) NO TV. It was given a two percent chance of success and within a short while it was packed every day with people who wanted the talk, the music, the food and the beer.
The owner will admit to having made a few (well, maybe more than a few) bad business decisions and it is enough to say that the Ray went through some very difficult times. A large expansion was underway and the adjacent building was being rebuilt when Hurricane Charlie came into the picture. The Ray never closed, but the post-hurricane period involved some new ownership (thankfully temporary) and the eventual return of the original owner. Some years later the Ray is now several times larger (the addition was finally completed in 2012) and there are multiple restrooms, a second floor, a larger kitchen, and even a small stage for the entertainment. There is outside seating in the front and back, and it is all an extraordinary mishmash of old, new, beat-up, and comfortable.
The beers are (almost) all imported ... don't even think about asking for a Bud Light or a Mich Ultra ... and there are maybe thirty beers/ales/ciders on tap. It also has a full liquor license so you can enjoy a "pinch with your point".
The original section is unchanged from opening day, a curious patchwork of what-nots.
The food includes the bangers, pies, pasties, curries (including a very nice vindaloo) and terrific fish and chips. Toasties, leek soup, scotch eggs and mushy peas are also on the menu. And finally, the Celtic Ray has the best French Fries anywhere! That's a fact.
There are no wait staff and you must order food at the bar. (This actually puts off some stuffy people who believe that they should always be waited on at the table. But really, the world is better off without them anyway.)
The music is varied but includes a lot of returning groups, like Boston's Celtic Clan (the house band for the Black Rose), Brigid's Cross, Brendan Nolan, and many many more. There's a variety of blues, jazz and funk besides traditional Irish music, plus comedy nights and an open mike night (Sundays).
The Celtic Ray is one of the very best of its kind (whatever that is), anywhere. It is the neighborhood local, the place to meet for the best beers and ales, the comfortable place for good company, a reliable place for good food, and an inviting place for plenty of fun. Visitors to the area should not ever miss the Celtic Ray when they are in town. That would be a real shame.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank writer48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

692 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    381
    213
    48
    28
    22
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Punta Gorda, Florida
Level Contributor
65 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“A "wee bit" of Ireland in Punta Gorda, Florida.”
Reviewed December 14, 2013

There was no other choice to make for dinner and a couple of pints of grog with a wee bit of hard liquor when our friend from Ireland was in town, so off to the Celtic Ray we went. I hadn't been to the "Ray" since the renovations and expansion to the original Pub had been completed and was I pleasantly surprised at the newly completed local Irish Pub. Let me begin by saying that the "Ray" had been on my "favorites list" since opening so many years ago and today still ranks high on my list of "must go" local eating & drinking establishments in our historic SW Florida waterfront community that proudly boasts of having in excess of 100 choices for dinner & drinks.
The newly expanded Pub has bar and table seating and a modest, but fine selection of Pub fare and drinks, all at very affordable prices. My favorite has always been the Lamb Shank dinner so there were no decisions to make on my part. While my companions agonized as to what to order from the somewhat limited dinner menu, I enjoyed another half pint. Eventually, all but one other companion, choose the Shepard's Pie dinner, which places second on my favorites list. All dinners ordered were well prepared, with attention paid to good "table presentation," and although you won't need a "doggie bag" for any leftovers, all dinner plates were cleaned of every tasty morsel before being removed by the server. Over the course of the evening, the drinks that started out as modest half pints quickly evolved to full pints of ice cold Lagers and Ales. When visiting our historic waterfront "downtown" be sure to put a visit to the Celtic Ray for dinner and drinks. It's well worth discovering.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Old5anDimer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Henderson, Kentucky
Level Contributor
24 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great Irish Pub”
Reviewed November 25, 2013

Some friends told us about this place and we were not led astray. During our week long stay in Punta Gorda we visted this place 3 times. The food was great (loved the Lamb Shank) and the selection of beers and Irish whiskey was world class. They have a different selection of musicians thoughout the week, and the staff was very friendly. We took some friends, who live in the area but had never been there, and the said the were definitely coming back. The place is not just a bar because I saw families there with young children. Everyone was having a good time.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank David C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cedarburg, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Punta Gorda Irish Pub- live music Wed-Sat”
Reviewed November 18, 2013

Punta Gorda is for kicking back! If you want to go for the busy side head to Ft Myers or Port Charlotte for the day or eve. This is a small fishing and boating town where you can still feel safe, walk in the parks, enjoy nature. Some great places to eat or have a cocktail.. This is an excellent Irish Pub and I recommend you take the time to stop in.

This past week they had in music from Ireland you don't find that everyday.

Be casual, have some fun and talk with the locals we love it here. The menu has some great items and you will find the staff welcoming. See you there...

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank bowmans888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Punta Gorda, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Absolutely Wonderful Authentic Irish Pub!!!”
Reviewed November 17, 2013 via mobile

Met Kevin the Irish owner from Dublin...an absolutely delightful man...very on top of everything & truly concerned of everyone's satisfaction!!! Fantastic & authentic food & drink & great Irishmen caring for you!!!

Helpful?
Thank debbierick7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed The Celtic Ray Public House also viewed

Punta Gorda, Southwest Gulf Coast
Punta Gorda, Southwest Gulf Coast
 
Punta Gorda, Southwest Gulf Coast
Punta Gorda, Southwest Gulf Coast
 

Been to The Celtic Ray Public House? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing