South Campus Gateway is home to an Irish pub again, and in plenty of time for St. Patrick’s Day.
Kildare’s Irish Pub will open at 1576 N. High St. on Thursday, in the space formerly occupied by McFadden’s Irish Pub.
Kildare’s is a Philadelphia-based chain, with six locations in three states. It’s owned by Dave Magrogan, a chiropractor-turned-restaurateur. The company also owns three Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House seafood restaurants in Pennsylvania and is considering opening one in Columbus.
Magrogan hopes patrons will feel as though they have been transported to Ireland once they step inside the renovated 7,000-square-foot space.
“We’ve incorporated five distinct Irish pub styles, and most of the furniture and fixtures are either Irish antiques or were custom-made and shipped from Ireland just for Kildare’s.”
The ground floor is modeled after a traditional shop pub “like you’d see in rural Ireland, the kind that is part pub and small grocer, or pub and post office or retailer,” Magrogan said.
Upstairs is a brewery-style pub, outfitted with old Guinness barrels and a large copper-topped bar.
The third space is modeled after a Victorian-style Irish pub, “like what you’d see in Dublin near Trinity College, the kind of place where James Joyce may have hung out,” he said. It is outfitted in mahogany wood, with a fireplace and red velvet walls.
In addition, there is a Gaelic-inspired room, with tree-trunk furniture from Ireland.
The fifth and final room is modeled after a cottage-style pub. “It feels like a living room,” Magrogan said.
The various themes allow guests to have different kinds of experiences at Kildare’s, so “It’s just as much a place for watching soccer matches as it would be for celebrating a wedding anniversary — truly a pub that has different feelings and flair.”
And, of course, there’s food.
Appetizers include a “tower” of pretzels with a whiskey-honey dip; the “Bubble & Squeak,” which is a homemade potato cake topped with sauteed leeks and a cucumber sour cream; a Reuben spring roll of homemade corned beef, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese; as well as beer mussels served with tomato, onions, garlic and Harp Lager.
The starter menu also includes wings, loaded french fries and “Irish” nachos of homemade potato chips topped with cheese, guacamole and salsa. Prices range from $6 to $8.
Entrees include Guinness stew with meat and vegetables served over mashed potatoes. There’s shepherd’s pie of beef and lamb with carrots, peas and onions in brown gravy, topped with mashed potatoes, and bangers and mash — traditional Irish sausages with potatoes in a whiskey demi-glace.
The menu also includes fish and chips prepared in an ale batter, and an Irish breakfast of bangers (sausage), rashers (bacon), beans, roasted tomato and eggs. Prices range from $13 to $16.
Kildare’s will serve a selection of sandwiches and burgers, including tuna melts and salmon BLTs, hot roast beef and beer bratwurst. The 10-ounce European Union Burger is topped with bacon, two cheeses and a fried egg. Prices range from $8 to $12.
The menu is designed to “bring back memories for people who ate this kind of food with their parents and grandparents,” Magrogan said.
Magrogan became a restaurateur in a roundabout way. A chiropractor by trade, he traded in X-rays to open his first Irish pub in 2003.
“I grew up working in restaurants. I started as a dishwasher at 12,” he said. “I had always loved restaurants and Irish pubs and food. Once I figured out how to build the pieces in Ireland and move them here, I knew I had something special.”
Donatos to D.C. area
Columbus-based Donatos opened its first pizza shop in Virginia last week. The franchisee-owned location opened in Vienna, a suburb of Washington, D.C. Another restaurant in nearby Fairfax will open later this year.
Donatos is also working with another group of franchisees to open restaurants in Virginia Beach and Norfolk by the end of 2012.
Hats off to the chefs
Richard Blondin, of the Refectory Restaurant & Bistro, and Kent Rigsby, owner of Rigsby’s Kitchen, are both finalists for the James Beard Foundation Award for best chef in the Great Lakes region.
The awards are among the most prestigious in the culinary field, honoring “the best and the brightest talents in the food and beverage industries, (and) celebrating outstanding achievement,” the foundation said.
Source: Denise Trowbridge, dispatch.com