Friday, October 07th, 2011
It’s been a harrowing six weeks for Barry O’Donovan, owner of The Kilkenny House (112 South Ave. East in Cranford), as he sought to rebuild the popular Irish pub that was devastated by Hurricane Irene in late August. The pub [re-opened on] Friday, Oct. 7.
Waters from the storm flooded the pub’s entire basement, ruining kegs, refrigerators, freezers, computers and the entire electrical system. On the main floor, waters warped the hardwood floors and woodwork on the main floor. What kept O’Donovan going was the support he had from friends and neighbors — many of whom faced similar challenges from Irene’s fury.
“It’s been hard, I won’t kid you,” said Barry O’Donovan, owner of The Kilkenny House. “We had no choice but to rebuild. This is what I know how to do. I had a responsibility to my staff to get up and running as fast as I could.”
“Given the outpouring of support from the community, I felt an obligation to my customers, as well. When three little girls come up to you and give you the few dollars they made with their lemonade stand to help you recover, it’s just heartwarming,” O’Donovan continued. “We are strong in Cranford, and everyone stands behind each other.”
The Kilkenny native says he owes a debt of gratitude to so many people that he couldn’t name them all, but in particular he singled out Paul LaCorte, Mayor Daniel Aschenbach and local politicians, the Cranford Police and Fire Departments, the SBA (Small Business Administration), which helped secure disaster funding, and the many contractors who worked so hard to restore Kilkenny House to its former glory in just six weeks.
Kilkenny House will be open for drinks on its first night and a limited menu only during its initial few days in operation.
Located at 112 South Ave. East in Cranford, Kilkenny House Restaurant and Pub brings warm Irish charm to Central New Jersey. With a large selection of drinks and a food menu of traditional Irish pub favorites, Kilkenny House offers something for everyone, including families and fans of Premier League Soccer, which is shown weekly on six 42-inch screen TVs.