Authentic Irish pub to open by St. Patrick’s Day
By Iva Butler | (email@example.com)
Relying on the luck of the Irish, Mark Brown plans to open possibly the first authentic Irish pub in Maryville before St. Patrick’s Day on March 17.
Flaherty’s Irish Pub, named after his mother’s family, will open at 1720 W. Broadway Ave., Maryville, where the former Roaming Gnome was located.
A Vonore resident, Brown has contracted with an Irish pub designer, Eddie Ormonde of GGD Global, and an Irish business consultant, Donal Ballance of Ballance Hospitality Solutions, who will be arriving in three weeks to help with the pub opening.
“We will highlight authentically Irish history. For all people of Irish descent this will be wonderful. My family is Irish,” said Brown, a Vonore resident.
On his mother’s side, the family can trace its roots back to the 14th century castle of the Flaherty clan, which his family visited.
“All the food will be fresh ... no frozen,” he said.
The pub will offer typical American fare like steaks, chicken, fish and burgers along with Irish specialties — fish and chips, bangers and mash (sausage and mashed potatoes), corned beef and cabbage, boxty (thin potato pancakes with your choice of filling) and Guinness steak and mushroom pie,
Brown and his sister, Marcia Denny, will be assistant managers. They will have a job fair in a few weeks at Courtyard Marriott across from McGhee Tyson Airport. The pub will have about 30 employees.
“It will have a warm comfortable interior, with a lot of dark wood and comfortable seating. It will be Victorian in style. The bar will be integrated with the dining room. There will be a lot of Irish items around the bar,” Brown said.
He said a mahogany bar is being constructed in Ireland and shipped to Maryville.
There will be a fireplace in the back and a bookcase and display case.
The plan is for “it to be a place you don’t mind coming to any time ... a community meeting place,” he said.
The 2,000-square-foot public area will have seating for 110 in the dining area, 30 in the bar area and roughly 50 in the big patio outside.
The Irish consultants are to arrive in three weeks to oversee establishing an Irish pub ambiance with the bar, wainscoting, furniture, lighting and the facade. The outside will have wood up 10 feet and the remainder of store with the sign on the front in old Irish script, Brown said.
“It will look aged but be brand new,” he said.
There will also be entertainment, not concerts, but background music that pub patrons can enjoy as they eat and drink.
The music will be a mix of Irish and bluegrass, Brown said, noting there is a real connection between Irish and Bluegrass music. Many musicians who play Irish music here also play bluegrass and they use the same instruments and style, he said.
Occasionally there will be Irish dancers and bagpipers, he said.
Brown is an Indianapolis, Ind., native, who worked 15 years in Chicago as an executive in a commercial real estate company.
His wife, Susan, is the head trainer at Rarity Bay Equestrian Center, primarily training Tennessee Walking Horses.
They have two children who are college students — Shannon is a freshman at the University of Tennessee and Derek is a sophomore at North Central College in Naperville, Ill.