D’Arcy’s Pint

Review by: Jim Ellison

D’Arcy’s Pint is a family-friendly Irish themed bar/restaurant that opened in 1998 and moved to its new, bigger location in May of 2005. What drew it to Roadfood’s attention is its horseshoe sandwich … also known as a heart attack on a plate.

D’Arcy’s serves over a dozen varieties of horseshoe, which is the signature open-face sandwich of Springfield, Illinois. The basic version is two pieces of Texas toast with meat placed on each slice, served with either a traditional or spicy white cheese sauce and what seems like a pound of crinkle cut fries. Meat choices include corned beef, walleye, Italian sausage, and breaded pork tenderloin. A favorite is the Buffalo chicken horseshoe, served with a side of hot sauce and blue cheese dressing. If someone in your party is not interested in consuming a pint (horseshoe) or half-pint (pony shoe), the menu also features traditional Irish favorites, pizza, all sorts of good bar food, and such other sandwiches as breaded pork tenderloins, muffalettas, New York-style corned beef, and Reubens.

Local lore generally places the birth of the horseshoe at the Leland Hotel in 1928. (The Leland closed in the 1970s.) The original version was an open-faced sandwich consisting of two slices of thick, toasted bread with ham on top of each piece, along with a scattering of French fries. The ham vaguely resembled a horse’s hoof, the French fries a farrier’s nails, and the plate an anvil. As for the cheese sauce added on top, that varies from place to place in Springfield, but most published recipes use something similar to Welsh rarebit. Its typical ingredients include beer, egg yolks, butter, Worcestershire sauce, cheddar cheese, and a combination of spices. Today, ham is just one of many meats offered by all horseshoe restaurants, many of which even can make vegetarian versions.

Directions & Hours

11am - 8pm
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Thursday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Friday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Saturday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

What To Eat

Buffalo Horseshoe Sandwich

Horseshoe Sandwich



D’Arcy’s Pint Recipes


What do you think of D’Arcy’s Pint?

2 Responses to “D’Arcy’s Pint”

Bill LeGallee

March 12th, 2011

Definitely worth stopping in if you’re in the area, and not just for the crazily sinful horseshoe. They’ve got some great Irish and English beers on tap!


Kerstin Brown

March 12th, 2008

Darcy’s is about as close as you will find in a restaurant to getting an authentic horseshoe. They are great! My family has been in Springfield and the restaurant business since the late 1800’s. My great-grandmother worked with the chef who invented the horseshoe at the Leland Hotel. My grandmother worked at the Leland several years later and was also very close to Wayne of Wayne’s Red Coach Inn over the years until he passed.

The reason there is some debate over where it was invented is because one of the sous chefs at the Leland was hired by Wayne, the owner of the Red Coach Inn, in order to get this particular recipe. My grandmother made them for us for years and the original recipe does not contain beer. Everyone has a slightly different version of the original. Wayne’s served the original for years after the Leland closed. It was originally served on a metal hot plate to represent the anvil.

Bravo Darcy’s; your horseshoes are plate lickin’ good!


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Article’s & Guides Tagged Ritz’s

A Really Big Shoe

By Jane and Michael Stern Originally Published 2009 Gourmet Magazine Horseshoe sandwiches are ubiquitous in Springfield, Illinois, but no one eats them anywhere else. Like many folk foods, they’re...


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