The Black Sheep Pub and Restaurant, which is as authentic as anything you'd see in the U.K., attracts socializing locals, Portland hipsters Instagramming photos of their fish and chips and real, live Brits dumping malt vinegar on every crispy entree.
You may have a hard time snagging a table in the spacious, second-floor dining room overlooking the Ashland Plaza, especially on Sundays afternoons. That's when an already-popular restaurant transforms into a makeshift musical venue.
You will hear inviting sounds minutes after opening the Black Sheep's fire truck-red front doors, complete with traditional brass door knockers, and ascending the flight of stairs. As if someone were playing a CD titled "The Best Sounds on Earth," the hum of people laughing, a popping fireplace and good, Irish music fills the air.
An Irish open jam with rotating musicians plays jigs from 2 to 5 p.m. Sundays that get people even with two left feet motivated to step in time. Or perhaps play, since everyone is invited to bring an accordion or guitar and join in.
On a recent Sunday, Barry Covert, 73 of Three Springs, Pa., applauded the atmosphere and the scones, before looking around the high-energy room and adding, "I like seeing all the different people."
The Black Sheep Pub and Restaurant is at 51 N. Main St., Ashland.
Amelia Covert Zeve, 13, is an Ashland-based writer and wilderness enthusiast who attends Ashland Middle School. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.