Tuesday, November 8th, 2011
Veteran pub guy Blue Tate is opening another: Irish Icehouse, which will open on Preston Road in Plano in the next couple of weeks.
“The menu is basically the same as I’ve always had — the menu has never let us down,” he says. “We do fish & chips, shepherd’s pie, corned beef & cabbage, but also wraps and salads. I sell fresh food. When I lived in England, I would deliver to this area that had a dozen restaurants in one small area, yet only one was terrifically busy. I asked them, ‘Why?’ and they said, ‘Because we sell fresh food.’ I learned the lesson. We change the oil in our fryer twice a week; most people don’t change it once a month.”
Tate is still sporting battle scars from his experience opening Delaney’s. The one in McKinney is still open, though he sold it. He opened a second in Fort Worth in early 2010 at a time when the West Seventh district was in the thick of new openings. The Fort Worth Delaney’s closed in May; too many openings at one time, maybe. Not to mention that the commute was killing him.
“I live in Prosper — from Prosper to Fort Worth, the quickest I did it was an hour and a half,” he says. “I wanted to be nearer to where my kids go to school.”
He’s excited about his space, previously a San Francisco Pizza Oven and still with the oven to prove it.
“It has a really good patio, and is smaller than Delaney’s, with a more open kitchen,” he says. “We’re not going for 900 TVs. It’s your basic Guinness, the usual beers, but all the beer is iced-down in two troughs full of ice so people can’t say their beer isn’t cold.”
Well, there’s also the name.
“Irish Icehouse came because of the actual icehouse in Ireland,” he says. “Years ago, they would create an underground hole and put their food down there, then go to the lakes and get the ice to put on top of it. It was the first refrigerator. These days, there’s so many so-called pubs and taverns and bars and grills. But years ago, ice houses were the thing.”
Source: Teresa Gubbins, pegasusnews.com