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New Irish Pub is Coming Soon to Gay Street

Lauren Sega Lauren Sega New Irish Pub is Coming Soon to Gay StreetPhoto by Walker Evans.
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Long after the rest of Downtown’s kitchens turn out their lights, Chad Barnhart’s Irish Pub will nourish the liquor-laden bellies of his patrons.

“It’s like everything shuts down between midnight and one,” he said. “By one o’clock I’m ready for a good sandwich and another drink.”

Barnhart, a self-described country boy with a love for Irish hospitality, envisions his pub as a haven, a welcoming place where “you walk in the door and people holler ‘Hi’ at you, ‘Take a seat.’”

He picked the old J Gumbo’s space at 31 E. Gay Street, looking to contribute to the developing culture of the area. The goal is local, but also authentic. “For research” Barnhart spent a week in Ireland, pub-hopping, snapping photos of the interiors and exteriors at each stop. No matter how big or small the town was, Barnhart noticed each pub offered a similar experience — one he’s looking to capture.

“We want an environment of, you come in, stay as long as you want, don’t be rushed, have a great time, have good food, have good drinks, and just, everybody’s welcome,” Barnhart said, adding that, in order to get the check, guests will have to ask for it.

Irish classics, like shepherd’s pie and bangers and mash, will accompany more familiar shareables; onion rings, mozzarella sticks and salads were mentioned, but the full menu, like the pub’s name, is still a work in progress. It’ll be available at 11 a.m. until 2 a.m.

“I’m not opposed to eggs at midnight,” Barnhart said.

He’s not ruling out a brunch menu either, offering pigs in a blanket, with sausages and crescent rolls, as a potential item. For now, though, the focus is on construction. After going through multiple floor plans, they’ve settled and are hoping for a March opening.

“We’re an Irish pub,” he said. “I mean, it would not be a good thing to not be open on St. Patty’s Day.”

Construction photos provided by Chad Barnhart.



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