James Joyce Irish Pub reopening

Just in time for leprechauns, James Joyce Irish Pub opens Monday in the former Eighth Avenue location of Mema’s Alaskan Tacos.

The owner, Ryan Gougeon, is planning a St. Patrick’s Day bash March 16 and 17 with live music, Irish food, green beer and “of course, Guinness,” he said.

The new pub is an upscale version of the original bar on Seventh and 17th avenues, with a 30-foot dark hardwood bar, two fireplaces, stained glass, vintage brass chandeliers and imported knickknacks. A bookshelf holds a collection of Irish and Ybor history tomes, handy for settling wagers or looking up limericks. An outdoor patio and side deck will accommodate large tent parties.

As for booze, the pub will offer 50 craft beers on tap, 100 varieties of bottled beers from around the world and about 30 varieties of Irish whiskey.

“It’s quite possibly the best setup in all of Tampa Bay for craft beer lovers,” Gougeon said, describing a $30,000 delivery system connecting taps to 75 kegs in a 16- by 10-foot walk-in cooler.

He has also imported a new chef, Irishman Andrew Periam, known for his shepherd’s pie and Guinness stew. The kitchen will be open until 2 a.m. every day of the week, plus a lunch menu on weekends.

Gougeon expects to create 20 new jobs in Ybor City, “opportunities for cooks, servers, bartenders, musicians, security guards, a whole new staff, really.”

James Joyce, 1724 E Eighth Ave., will be open 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 3 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Visit jamesjoyceybor.com or call (813) 247-1896.

Source: Amy Scherzer, tampabay.com

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