[Local Buzz] Kelly’s Tavern – The Outer Banks’ Landmark Hot Spot

Kelly's 26th Annual St Patrick's Parade - March 15, 2015

Kelly’s 26th Annual St Patrick’s Parade – March 15, 2015

For more than 30 years, locally owned and operated Kelly’s Restaurant and Tavern in Nags Head has been the Outer Banks’ premiere late night experience and one of the most popular places to dine among equal crowds of locals and visitors looking for top quality service in a casual OBX-style atmosphere.

Kelly's Restaurant and Tavern

Owner Mike Kelly started his career as a paper boy in Elizabeth City and today operates three successful area establishments, also including Mako Mike’s in Kill Devil Hills and Pamlico Jack’s in Nags Head, in addition to his many other contributions to the local community – perhaps most notably founding the annual Kelly’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 1990.

Mike Kelly leads the annual Kelly's St. Patrick's Day Parade.

Mike Kelly leads the annual Kelly’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

The annual rain-or-shine event is recognized as the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration in North Carolina, and it is a tradition for the thousands who march as much as it for the thousands more who come out and line both sides of the beach road to watch.

More recently, Kelly was instrumental in launching the annual OBX Marathon, which is now a world renowned athletic event and huge “shoulder season” boost to the Outer Banks economy each November, but at the end of the day he is first and foremost a restaurateur.

With a spacious dining area decorated in Old Nags Head artifacts and vintage memorabilia, Kelly’s can easily accommodate all size groups, from a couple looking for an intimate date night to a large group of family and friends,

Offering only the freshest locally caught seafood and full menu of delicious options, the restaurant is open year-round, seating guests from 4:30 until 10pm nightly, while the tavern bar also features a late night menu of lighter snacks. 

Their signature sweet potato biscuits have become legend.

Guitar legend Hubert Sumlin and Bob Margolin photographed by Matt Artz on March 10, 2005 on stage at Kellys

Guitar legend Hubert Sumlin and Bob Margolin photographed by Matt Artz on March 10, 2005 on stage at Kellys

As host of the hottest concert events on the Outer Banks each year, Kelly’s two-story tavern has remained the ultimate “hot spot” for local nightlife for the past three decades.

When the sun goes down, the music cranks up with world class regional and national acts live on stage almost every night, in addition to a DJ pumping out the latest dance hits over the state-of-the-art sound system in between band sets and following well into the night until last call. 

Watch Kelly’s owner Mike Kelly as the special guest on our Outer Banks web series OBXE TV in the player below!

If you’re looking for true local flavor and the biggest entertainment events on the Outer Banks, we’ll see you at Kelly’s.

To learn more, visit KellysRestaurant.com.

Click here for more stories on what’s happening at Kelly’s Outer Banks Restaurant and Tavern, and be sure to browse through our photo gallery of some recent events below!

Mike Kelly

OBXentertainment.com Local Buzz


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