Wednesday, October 26th, 2011
Barry Flynn and Denis Keohane have never been the types to pass up on a good opportunity.
So, when a mutual friend told them about the possibility of opening a new restaurant in Easton, the two Irish-born men jumped at the idea.
“A mutual friend of ours owned this place after it got foreclosed,” Keohane said. “He told us about it. We pondered it a little while and then we realized that there was an opening for another Catwalk-type place up here.”
Keohane, Flynn, and Flynn’s wife Cathy own the Catwalk Bar and Grille in downtown New Bedford. The Flynns also own Hibernia Irish Pub, which is located around the corner from the Catwalk.
The new Easton location, located on route 138 (Turnpike Street) in the building that formerly housed The 402, is set to open at the end of November. It will bear the name “Hibernia” as well.
The owners said they hope to set themselves apart from other area restaurants. Live music will be Saturday nights and “Pub Quiz” will likely be held every Tuesday. The restaurant will sport a menu featuring many “Irish Pub” type foods, and the bar will have 30 beers on tap. The establishment will also have 15 televisions.
Perhaps what will set Hibernia apart the most, though, will take place on Monday nights with a tradition Flynn and Keohane are bringing over from the homeland.
“We’re going to have Irish Sessions,” said Keohane. “It’s when people come in with their violins and banjos and they sit in the corner and they just play.”
Keohane traveled to the United States in 1988 and has since become a real estate developer and investor in the Boston and New Bedford area. Flynn traveled to America in 1994 in search of a job before meeting Cathy, who grew in Charlestown.
The two Irishmen met at one of Keohane’s job sites in Boston. Since then, along with Cathy, the tandem has gone into business together. The Catwalk was opened in 2002 in what was then considered a “bad location.”
“We rehabbed it,” said Keohane. “People said it wouldn’t work. It was lower Union Street and wasn’t a great location, but all we could see was cobblestone, brick sidewalks and waterfront, and we changed the face of lower Union Street.
I do a lot of Real Estate Seminars. One of the things that always comes up is you never rule out the power of one person changing a neighborhood.”
While the new Hibernia in Easton poses a much different scenario, the Flynns and Keohane are looking to add something new to the area, right down to the decor. The restaurant will sport a mix between bar seats, booths and tables, and the centerpiece will be an open-flame fireplace.
The three are also excited to join the Easton community.
“As we’ve been here during construction, many people have stopped by,” Cathy Flynn said. “People have stopped by Hibernia in New Bedford or called and left messages like ‘when are you going to open? We’re very excited about it.’ So, the community has been very welcoming.”
Between the food, the activities, the televisions and the beer list, the new owners are hoping to have something for everyone.
“We’re hoping to have a very broad range [of clientele],” Barry Flynn said. “We’re going to cover everybody.”