As luck would have it, the pieces fell into place around the end of last year and the restaurant at 871 Broadway Ave., which was renamed Greener Groundz after Kerby bought it, is now doing business as Molly Shannon’s Irish Pub.
Kerby bought the business in 2009 with Benita Bartley, and while the Greener Groundz name reflected the coffee roasting company they founded, Kerby had plans that called to mind the green on a shamrock or the Irish flag currently flying outside the restaurant.
“I had wanted an Irish pub anyway when I first got involved in the business,” Kerby said.
By obtaining a beer license soon afterward, the pub aspect of the business became possible, but a new business partner, Shannon Rich, who became involved in the restaurant last year, helped complete the transition and provide the new name for Molly Shannon’s.
Renovations were completed over the New Year’s holiday weekend.
Rich, who lived for a few years in Europe after studying hotel and restaurant management at Western Kentucky University, said she envisioned Molly Shannon’s as a place offering dining fare and an intimate atmosphere similar to some of her favorite restaurants from overseas.
“I remember thinking that whenever I opened anything, it would be something small and European-styled,” Rich said.
Regular patrons who have been to Molly Shannon’s under its former incarnations will recognize some menu items, particularly the selection of pizzas, as holdovers from earlier days.
Several new items of distinctly Irish fare have been added, though, complete with suggested pairings of beers imported from Ireland.
The shepherd’s pie, for instance, is considered to be best paired with a Guinness stout, while a Smithwick’s ale is recommended to go with the new bangers and mash on the menu.
Live entertainment has been at Molly Shannon’s most nights, and the restaurant has a full wait staff now, a departure from the counter service of the past.
“There’s more contact with people … it’s more homey when someone comes up and talks to you,” Rich said.
Kerby said the menu will continue to have vegetarian and vegan options, and the restaurant will still serve local and organic food products from O’Daniel and Brooks Haven farms.
St. Patrick’s Day had been a busy holiday at the restaurant during its days as Greener Groundz, and big plans are still in the works for this St. Patrick’s Day at Molly Shannon’s, Kerby said.
The final touches to complete the transition include revamping the website and removing the Greener Groundz signage and logos from the door in favor of the Molly Shannon’s logo, which prominently features an Irish Sea leatherback turtle.
Another recently opened restaurant is Wild Hawgs Smokehouse at 160 River Place Ave.
Occupying a space that once held a Chinese buffet, Wild Hawgs opened earlier this month and specializes in barbecue, brisket and other smoked meats.
The new restaurant includes a full bar and is a partnership between Campbellsville barbecue expert Pat Blevins, Jody Allen and Lost River Pizza owners Keith Coffman and his father, Danny Coffman.