Downtown to go green with Irish pub

An Irish pub will be the first new business resulting from Montgomery’s redevelopment of lower Dexter Avenue.

Irish Bred Pub & Restaurant, which has seven franchises in Alabama and Georgia, is expected to open at 78 Dexter Ave. in October or November, said Paul Marmol, president of Irish Bred Pub Concepts Inc.

The three-floor restaurant and pub will serve lunch and dinner and have a full bar with more than 15 beers on tap, Marmol said. The menu will feature burgers, steaks, seafood, salads, sandwiches and Irish fare.

“It’s going to be really cool,” said Chad Emerson, the city’s director of development. “You’re going to be able to sit on the balcony in the evening with a drink or an appetizer and see the state Capitol building. It’s going to be a pretty iconic view.”

Luis Rubio, who purchased the building from the city for $60,000 in February 2011 and has since spent $1 million on restorations, will manage the restaurant and pub.

The city has been working to sell 12 properties it purchased on Dexter Avenue in an effort to revitalize the area.

The property also was in the news recently because some city residents said an external stairwell built off the balcony in the front of the property diminishes the historic character of the building.

Emerson said he hopes the restaurant draws people into the area in the evenings.

“For the people who are already redeveloping, it’ll be a source of encouragement,” he said. “And for the people who are looking to redevelop, a source of inspiration.”

Marmol said the restaurant most likely will be open from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. daily, and will serve food until close.

The bottom floor will be a family restaurant, and the upper levels will feature nightly entertainment such as local bands, DJs, karaoke, comedy and trivia.

“A lot of people think of an Irish pub, and they think adults only,” Marmol said. “That’s not the case at all. We want to be part of the community.”

The first Irish Bred Pub & Restaurant in Alabama opened about two years ago in Opelika, and has been successful, Marmol said.

He said he expects the Montgomery restaurant to employ 75 people.

Marmol said most of the other Irish Bred Pubs are located in historic downtown areas.

“That building seemed to fit our purpose,” Marmol said. “It’s in an area I feel has been pretty abandoned for the past several years. We love going back into areas like that and revitalizing those areas. That’s always our goal.”

If the restaurant is successful, it could expand its menu to include breakfast, Marmol said.

Rubio could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Source: montgomeryadvertiser.com

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