Irish eyes are smilin’ with pub plans

Source: Art Garcia, edhtelegraph.com

St. Patrick’s Day is payday for most bars, saloons and watering holes where everybody passes them self off as Irish for at least the day.

Green beer and good cheer go with the decorations of shamrocks and leprechauns in an effort to capture the color and flavor of a true Irish pub.

Menka Belgal • The Telegraph

But come next March 17, El Dorado Hills can celebrate the day in an Irish pub as authentic as can be matched to the real thing on the Emerald Isle.

Kinnee O’Reilly’s Irish Pub & Restaurant debuts in the Montano de El Dorado shopping center across from Pottery World, in late September. An opening celebration is planned for mid-October “after we iron out the kinks,” said Betsy Wohler, co-owner with husband David.

The couple developed a business plan for the pub about a year and a half ago, researched the project then moved forward with it. “El Dorado Hills,” said Betsy, 45, “is definitely where we wanted to be.”

The Wohlers have lived in El Dorado Hills with their daughters, ages 13 and 11, since moving here from Placerville in 2000 and previously from the Bay Area.

“We’re striving to create an authentic experience for those who walk through the doors at Kinnee O’Reilly’s,” said David Wohler, 41. “Our goal is to make everyone feel like they’ve stepped into a casual corner pub in Ireland.”

The pub and restaurant will open with a full menu derived from executive chef Todd Alsworth’s traditional Irish recipes, as well as from European and American favorites.

The full menu can be viewed on the pub’s website.

All dressings will be made in-house and the menu will feature options for vegetarians and those with special dietary requirements. “Ask and we’ll do our best to accommodate,” Betsy Wohler said.

O’Reilly’s has obtained a liquor license and will serve about 12 beers on tap and approximately 40 Scotch whiskeys from around the United States and the world.

Betsy Wohler is president and general manager of restaurant operations, David is CEO and will oversee the financial side while the two also share day-to-day management and operational duties. Alsworth has relocated to El Dorado Hills from Massachusetts, where he worked in Irish pubs, and will head kitchen and food operations.

O’Reilly’s has 4,400-square-feet of space, including the bar and restaurant. It will seat 180 inside and about 60 in a side patio. A private dining and bar area for up to 50 patrons will be available and can be closed off from the main dining room.

An expanded parking area is being constructed at the center.

The Wohlers expect to hire 25 to 30 fulltime and part-time employees to start and are now hiring assistant managers and wait and kitchen staff through August.

The pub will host live Irish music and waitresses will be dressed in Irish kilts.

David Wohler is giving up his business as a swimming pool contractor to devote full time to the restaurant. Betsy Wohler earlier worked at Bella Talloni shoe store in the Montano center and was a licensed veterinarian technician for 15 years and managed veterinary hospitals. She also worked up from buser and hostess to assistant manager of a Granite Bay restaurant.

David Wohler, whose father is a direct descendant of the first known O’Reilly family in Ireland, said his Irish heritage is the inspiration for the Kinnee O’Reilly’s concept. “On my mother’s side are the Kinnee’s from Glasgow,” he said.

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