Huntsville, Alabama That old piano is long gone. As is the hazy (and charming) Irish Republican Army bunker vibe, live Irish music on Thursdays, dogs-allowed-inside policy and salt-of-the-earth carousing that made Finnegan’s Pub a Huntsville must-do for 36 years. When Finnegan’s shuttered in July 2013, that chapter of this somewhat residential-appearing building, located in front of the Regal Hollywood 18 movie theater on South Memorial Parkway, ended. The page turned again a couple weeks ago. Original Public House finally opened in the former Finnegan’s space months after an original grand opening date of June 13 was announced this spring.
Whether it’s due to that extra time or not, when we visited Original Public House on a recent Thursday evening the food was uncommonly together for a recently opened, locally owned restaurant. With deftly curated ingredients and smart menu concepts that are part Irish traditional, part contemporary southern. Make no mistake Original Public House is a restaurant with a bar. Not a bar that also serves food. That said, there’s a handsome wooden, U-shaped bar in place, and during our visit the bar stools were respectively populated. The open interior is dimly lit without being dark and new-nice but still soulful. Lots of masculine wood-tones, some Irish-centric artwork and although there’s a lot of seating fit into a moderately-sized dining room the effect is cozy and not cramped. The crowd varied from young professionals to silver-haired couples to a couple dudes in heavy metal T-shirts to families with kids. Lots of families with kids. In fact, at one point it sounded like we were in Chuck E. Cheese’s. (Kids meals are $5, with a choice of fried fish, banger and grilled cheese in addition to the requisite cheeseburger.)Read More
The critically acclaimed feature documentary “The Irish Pub” has gone on general release in the United States and Canada, from Oct 24.
The documentary, which was directed, produced, filmed and edited by Alex Fegan will begin a minimum week-long run in six cinemas in five cities (Landmark Theatres in Boston and Washington DC, Rainbow Cinemas in Toronto, Calgary and Saskatoon) before being rolled out across North America over the following weeks.
“The Irish Pub” is a humorous and poignant celebration of third generation pubs around Ireland and the publicans that own them, exploring how the pub acts as a key pillar in tight knit Irish communities.
Director Alex Fegan commented: “It’s a huge achievement for everyone involved to take this tiny documentary to cinemas in North America. It’s also a great testament to the pub owners the length and breadth of Ireland who featured in the film and who never ceased to entertain with their wit and wisdom.”
Distributors Denis Dwyer and Garry Walsh from Snackbox Films said that they have received a lot of interest Stateside in the lead up to the film’s US and Canadian release.
Garry Walsh, a former GM of the Movies@ cinema chain who now heads up Snackbox’s distribution division commented “Already there is huge interest in the film in North America with groups of Irish diaspora and Americans alike flocking to book tickets. It’s a great social film that people enjoy watching together and discussing afterwards in, of all places, their local Irish pub.”
“The Irish Pub” received completion funding from the Irish Film Board and will premiere on the 23rd of October 2014 in The Kendall Square Theatre, Boston for a special screening hosted by the Boston Globe Newspaper as part of their “GlobeDocs Series”.
For more information on the upcoming screenings & cinemas in the US and Canada visit www.irishpubfilm.com.
“The Irish Pub” was released last year in cinemas in Ireland through Element Pictures Distribution and is now available in Ireland and UK on iTunes and DVD. A deal for a further release has been signed with Australian distribution company Antidote films which will see the film released in Australia and New Zealand later on this year.Read More
For all the Irish and the not-so-Irish in the Vienna-Tysons area who have wished for an authentic Irish pub in the community, your wish has come true. Paddy Barry’s Irish Pub and Restaurant opened on Sept. 15, and, on Sept. 20, the pub threw itself a grand-opening celebration.
“No matter who comes in, we’ll make sure you feel comfortable,” said pub owner, Brendan Barry, Waterford, Ireland, born and raised. “An Irish pub is relaxed and friendly. You are always welcome.”
Paddy Barry’s is named in honor of Brendan Barry’s grandfather – “Pop” – and his father who lived most of their lives in Waterford, Ireland. Pop Paddy joined the British navy as a young teen in 1914, and, after the war, devoted his life to the British Legion in Ireland. During the 1920s and 1930s, Paddy helped train recruits to the young Irish navy.
Brendan Barry, who owns Irish Business Solutions, had not planned on opening a pub. The purchase just evolved over the past several months, and, in August of 2014, the pub became his. The former owner had called his pub Finnegan’s Pride and when Barry bought it, he paid tribute to his grandfather, “Pop” – and father Paddy Barry- calling his place Paddy Barry’s. Paddy “Pop” Barry died in 1992 in Waterford.
Barry’s grand opening celebration brought in more than 100 supporters and friends. The pub was so packed, Barry opened up the patio for seating. Guests enjoyed complimentary small dishes and Guinness flowed like Dublin’s River Liffey. Strangers became acquaintances at shared tables and the Dirty Pints – led by a Galway native – kept traditional Irish music going throughout the evening.
The exuberant din faded to silence when the Barry kin – owner Brendan, his brothers Fergus and Ken, and Brendan’s twin sons Declan and Darryl, the four of whom just flew in from Ireland for Paddy Barry’s grand opening, sang together Brendan’s father’s favorite Irish folk song. Father Paddy Barry died five years ago.
“This is a gathering place for friends,” said Patrick Delaney of Annandale. “Food and friends, that’s what Irish restaurants are like.” “And a good pint,” added Delaney’s friend Ed Snydstrup, Fairfax. “This is a good pint. It’s got to be fresh and crisp. This is.”Read More
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