When Center Street Public House opened in Darien, Connecticut last month, it offered restaurant-goers something new and different in town. Owner Tom Lynch calls it “an American pub with a strong Irish influence,” a perfect fit for a community with deep Gaelic roots.
“I did some research before opening and found that over 65 percent of the people in Darien have English or Irish heritage,’’ said Lynch, a Rowayton resident who also works at Colangelo in Darien. “It’s meant to reflect that. When I found out the numbers, I was surprised just how deep the connection is. There is also a tremendous ex-pat community in Darien.”
Lynch reached back to the past to bring back Dave Johnson, who owned the restaurant when it was called Backstreet not too long ago. Johnson had sold the restaurant, but Lynch coaxed him out of “retirement” to run the kitchen and manage at the Pub. Dave’s wife, Cheryl, also signed on to bring the Pub to life.
“Dave brought out the life from a culinary standpoint,’’ Lynch said. “The menu is a nice balance between Irish, British and American pub fares. He definitely tapped into his inner Irishman.”
The menu features traditional Irish fare such as Shepherd’s Pie, Fish and Chips and Guinness Beef Stew. There are also some nice surprises, such as Fried Baloney Sandwich, Roasted Veggie Wrap, Stuffed Brook Trout and a Mixed Grill entree with lamb, sirloin, bacon and sausage.
“I thought that if everything tastes half as good as it sounds, it’s going to be fantastic,’’ Lynch said, “and everything tastes even better than it sounds.”
The atmosphere and drink selection add to the uniqueness of the restaurant. Unlike many other establishments in town, the Center Street Public House will be refreshingly casual. The restaurant will show a variety of sporting events on its televisions. “We’ll show football, baseball, soccer, rugby, golf, cricket, hockey and basketball,” Lynch said. “The more I think about it, we might need more TVs.”
The restaurant will be the first for Lynch, who said he has been considering owning a pub for several years.
“It felt like a lot of stars aligning,’’ Lynch said. “I looked at other spaces, but they were too big, or they were in Stamford or Norwalk and it was just too far. It’s a small place, which makes it more manageable. I like the size for what the purpose of a pub is – an intimate place to get together with friends and family.”
Center Street Pub has a deep array of wines and beers, but it will be a particular favorite for Guinness lovers. “All our bartenders have been trained in how to properly pour Guinness,’’ Lynch said. “There’s a way to do it, and they’ve all learned how. A proper pint is the hallmark of any good pub.”
Lynch said the restaurant has been well-received, even in the typically slow summer season. “People are excited about it,’’ Lynch said. “Some of them grew up here, some are new. It’s been a nice balance, and having ties to the community has been a big help. We hope the momentum continues during the fall.”Read More
Fado Irish Pub is opening a second Atlanta location in Midtown. The new outpost of the Atlanta-based chain, which was rumored for Elan Westside, will launch in the Shops at Metropolis development in the first quarter of 2015.
“We have been looking for the ideal Midtown location for quite some time and we think we have found it at Metropolis,” said Fado founding partner Kieran McGill. “Irish pubs In addition to being the social centers, now include savory food, local beers and excellent cocktails. We’re excited to bring a 2015 vintage pub to Midtown residents, neighbors and workers alike.”
Fado, which features its original location in Buckhead, will occupy the former La Tagliatella space at 919 Peachtree Street NE.Read More
Tom Cruise and David Beckham, were recently spotted drinking Guinness and sharing a bottle of wine at the Irish pub The Cow in Notting Hill. The pub is owned by Irish firm Tom Conran’s.
Most stars would meet behind locked gates and closed doors but not these two.
Beckham is 39 and Cruise is 51, but it may have been Irish American Cruise who needed the advice — his recent movies have bombed.
Or maybe Cruise was commiserating with the former England captain about the team’s miserable exit from the World Cup.
The two have been close since Beckham played with the LA Galaxy and regularly dined with Tom in Los Angeles. Their families also had regular movie nights.
Beckham told Sunday Times magazine: ‘When we were living in LA, Tom Cruise lived two minutes away. He’s a good friend. There were occasions when I’d call him up and ask him if he had a new movie that wasn’t out yet, and I’d go round and watch it with him.’Read More
Downingtown is looking a little greener these days, thanks to the recent arrival of a hand-crafted bar and shop front from County Waterford , Ireland. The arrival of the container was cause for celebration for Conor Cummins and Declan Mannion, the two “publicans” who own and operate the Molly Maguire’s Irish Restaurants and Pubs.
The third location of the popular Irish pub is scheduled to open in the first week of August, in the historic Minquas Firehouse in the center of the borough. Extensive renovations are underway, and Conor gave me the grand tour as construction workers moved full steam ahead. At 17,000 square feet, the Downingtown restaurant will be almost twice as large as their Phoenixville location.
Conor and Declan were thrilled with the arrival of the bar and shop front, as it marked another milestone in their efforts to, as Conor said with a grin, “bring 365 days of Ireland to Downingtown.” They’ve been working with Minquas Fire Company, the borough, and others since 2008. Conor noted that Minquas Fire Chief Jim Miller has been particularly helpful during the five year transition. Minquas Fire Company recently moved to new facilities a few blocks away.
The new Molly Maguire’s in Downingtown will be modeled after a high-end Victorian bar. Inside the front door will be a vestibule leading to the first floor bar and restaurant, which is an expansive space. “Since it’s a historic district, we wanted to retain the feel,” Conor explained. The restaurant will also pay tribute to the fire company which once resided there, with firefighting memorabilia on several of the walls. A stage for live music will also feature a traditional fireman’s pole. Bands are expected to play on Friday and Saturday nights.
Molly Maguire’s received over 800 applications for positions and will be employing approximately 60 people when the restaurant opens. The management staff has been hired already. Phase two of the project, which is expected to be finished in the fall of 2014, includes a massive banquet hall that can seat up to 200 peopleRead More
After years of planning and a few bumps along the way, a taste of Ireland has finally arrived in Great Falls. The Celtic Cowboy has opened its doors and is ready to serve the Electric City.
The pub had its soft opening last Friday and plans a big grand opening this weekend. The construction was part of a downtown restoration and the building is the oldest commercial spot in Great Falls. The entire atmosphere of the pub comes from a very special Irish word meant to embody the spirit of community, Craic.
Most of the word work in the building comes from either Ireland or England. There is a full Irish-inspired food menu from an excellent chef and a line-up of beers, some brewed especially for the Celtic Cowboy. Within the next year, a hotel will open above the pub.Read More
Since 1965, the Cairn Croft or “the Croft” as it became to be known as, located inside the Best Western Plus Cairn Croft Hotel on Lundy’s Lane was a gathering place for the over 30 crowd in Niagara Falls. It was the place to go for locals and regulars to relax, have a drink, play pool, and maybe even engage in a little karaoke in a laid-back adult setting. As one of Niagara Fall’s oldest hotel bars, it had already established itself as staple to the tourist laden street of Lundy’s Lane, and drew in both familiar faces and new customers every day. Now, almost exactly a month from its opening date, the all-new Doc Magilligan’s Irish Pub has replaced the Cairn Croft in order to revamp the setting into something else entirely. Lisa Smith, the Director of Marketing and Sales at the Best Western Plus Cairn Croft Hotel told the Niagara Falls Review that ”We appreciate all the loyal customers that we’ve had over the years, but we felt that we needed to expand and get something fresh and new to get a more all-around clientele”. And renovate they did! The decor is completely unrecognizable with its Irish flair (built entirely in Ireland and shipped to Niagara Falls). Doc Magilligan’s is still owned by Cairn Croft brothers Len and Fred Cade, so some things remain the same – but that’s where the similarities end. Fred’s wife, Maureen Cade, is the inspiration behind the new namesake. Maureen’s great great grandfather, “Doc Magilligan” was a beloved Irish doctor known both for his nurturing care and his fun-loving attitude at the local pubs around town. It was fitting to honor his name through this new establishment.
The restaurant is 5,500 square feet and everything from the moment you step inside is Irish. Not only the decor, but the full food and drink menu is also Irish-inspired. While local brews and Niagara wines will also be readily available, you can expect to see Guinness, Smithwick’s, Kilkenny and Harp on tap and some good ol’ fashioned British food like “Shepherd’s Pie” and “Banger’s and Mash” for starters!
Corporate parties and groups are welcome at Doc Magilligan’s with seating for 270 and a capacity for 300 patrons. In addition, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, as well as Sunday afternoons, there is always live entertainment!Read More