Pub owners shoot for St. Paddy’s Day opening

Blacksburg was buzzing last spring when construction began on Castle’s Kettle & Pub.

Castle's Kettle & Pub, slated to open March 17, is located at 107 N. Main St. in Blacksburg. Matt Gentry The Roanoke Times

Since then, onlookers have been passing by the building on 607 N. Main St. and wondering when the venue will finally open.

Owners Joe Castle and Tony Faulds, both Virginia Tech graduates, hope to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17 with an opening.

“Even if we don’t hit that day, it will still be St. Patrick’s Day here all year long,” Castle said.

Castle and Faulds decided to build the pub because they felt something was missing in Blacksburg, a town they both love, they said.

“We thought Blacksburg needed a unique experience,” Faulds said. “An Irish pub or ‘public house’ is a great place to have everyone of all types gather.”

As a part of that experience, Castle’s will be completely paperless.

Faulds said that Castle’s will use a paperless Point of Sales system that uses handheld devices to track food ordered and beer purchased.

“Wouldn’t you enjoy it if we tracked your favorite beers from previous visits and were able to recommend new beers to try that were in the same spectrum?” Faulds asked.

“Virginia Tech is a technology school, and we felt that our restaurant can provide that same thing behind the scenes to make a more enjoyable experience.”

In order to participate in the tracking program, customers must join the “Mug Club” for $30 each year, and members will receive a free mug. In addition to the Mug Club, customers can join the “Kettle Club,” which is a food club that offers discounts on future food purchases through a membership rewards program.

The restaurant will boast a diverse menu of American cuisine with an “Irish flair,” Castle said. Traditional Irish menu items will include Shepherd’s pie, Irish stew and fish and chips. Castle said there will also be “Southern-style” offerings, including Guinness beer-fried chicken and fish.

Lastly, the “Horseshoe Club” offers customers a chance to try the pub’s more than 50 drinks in their whiskey and scotch selection. The club costs $300 annually and will allow members free entry to tasting nights and other events.

Speaking of beer, with the help of Roanoke Railhouse Brewery, Castle’s will offer its own beer called “Castle’s Irish Red.” That beer will be served alongside Castle’s 20 other beers.

Beers will be served in a British “Imperial” pint which is 20 fluid ounces as opposed to the traditional American pint at 16 ounces. Half-pints will be 10.5 ounces and according to Faulds, should allow customers room to try more than one beer.

According to Faulds, prices will be comparable to other Blacksburg restaurants.

In addition to beer, Castle’s plans to have entertainment at least two times a week, sometimes more. The pub will host Irish singers, Irish sessions and ballad singers.

“If you know Ireland, you know that music is a cornerstone of pubs and Irish culture,” Faulds said. “If you don’t know, you will find out soon enough.”
Both Castle and Faulds hope to bring a different atmosphere to Blacksburg, one that welcomes in everyone and fosters a friendly atmosphere.

“I want to create an authentic Irish experience based on my trips to Ireland,” Castle said. “Irish pubs offer a gathering place filled with good music and conversation.

“That is what I want every guest to experience when they walk through our doors.”

And there’s more to come, Faulds said, “especially as they begin to use our deck this spring and summer.”

“Sitting under the stars, enjoying a good beer and good music is the best way to enjoy Blacksburg,” Faulds said.

Castle’s operating hours will be from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. Faulds added that Castle’s will also be open for Sunday brunch. For more information about Castle’s, visit their website.

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