As downtown Montgomery continues to see pockets of revitalization, the opening of an Irish Bred Pub and Restaurant on Dexter Avenue could further its goal of seeing a vital entertainment district established.
However, some controversy has arisen over its construction that city officials said today will be overcome.
The Irish Bred Pub and Restaurant is the first business to come out of the city’s Dexter Avenue redevelopment project. An additional 12 properties owned by the city are available for new businesses.
The property for the business was purchased in February 2011 by Luis Rubio, who plans to operate the restaurant. Rubio said he will hire around 50 employees to work at the pub.
The business faced controversy during its first few months of construction after residents complained that an exterior staircase takes up a larger portion of the sidewalk than originally planned, does not uphold the historic integrity of the building and disrupts the public right of way.
Paul Marmol, one of the Irish Bred Pub and Restaurant owners, addressed these concerns briefly at a press conference this morning in front of the restaurant, which is currently undergoing renovations, stating that he respected the concerns.
“We want residents to have the freedom to comment so their concerns can be met,” said Marmol.
Mayor Todd Strange also talked about the apprehension over the staircase, stating that the business is still in a construction phase and all accessibility issues would be resolved by the time for the restaurant’s opening.
The Irish Bred Pub and Restaurant will serve traditional Irish fare, including corn beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie and fish n’ chips. Customers can also expect live entertainment, whether it’s music, karaoke or trivia, every night of the week. The business will open for lunch and plans to remain open and continue serving a full menu until 2 a.m.
Marnol, along with co-owner of the Irish Bred Pub and Restaurant Joe Garofalo, said they were excited about the opportunity to add a franchise on 78 Dexter Avenue to the restaurant’s other seven locations. This will be the second franchise to open in Alabama, after the first was opened in Opelika two years ago.
“It’s become our mission to go to the older downtown areas and revitalize them,” said Marmol.
The Irish Bred Pub and Restaurant is set to open in September.