The European-looking white coat of paint with black accents, along with other exterior renovations at 450 and 452 Broadway, have been catching the eyes of those passing by of late, prompting them to take a peek inside, compliment the buildings’ new owners and inquire when the new pub will open.
Thirsty residents need wait no longer with Finnbar’s Pub officially opening on Friday evening just in time for this month’s Troy Night Out.
Family, friends and employees of the business have been working diligently since May on the brick adjoining structures, which date back until at least 1862 when the edifices survived Troy’s Great Fire, said co-owner Sean Costello, who will manage the Irish family-style pub with his wife, Megan.
“It’s what we’ve always wanted — a family-style Irish pub in a beautiful old building,” he said. “This is not just another Irish pub. It’s a tribute to old school Troy.”
While a lot has visibly changed — including the façade, the decorations and even the kitchen — much has also remained the same to allow some nostalgia for customers of Holmes and Watson, the name of the establishment from 1978 until April of this year, when the owner at the time, Tom McKeown, felt it was time to move on to a new venture.
The young couple, especially Megan, said they spent time in local stores and antique shops to find the right décor to match the setting they were envisioning. The downstairs dining area now features black and white photos of various scenes from Troy’s past, including when Theodore Roosevelt visited the city.
“It’s an exciting adventure,” said Joe Costello, Sean’s father, who purchased the building for the couple to run the business. “It’s a beautiful, historic city and we’re happy to contribute to keeping true to the roots of this facility.”
Originally from Troy, Sean Costello went to Sacred Heart School and grew up in the city. About 18 years ago, he started running Hollywood Café on Lark Street with a friend and employer who was serving in the military. Costello still visited Troy, however, and became friends with Dave Gardell, owner of the Ruck, who eventually told him that the Holmes and Watson location would be perfect for fulfilling his family’s dream of owning an Irish pub.
After spending $193,000 on the purchase of the property, the Costellos say they have spent about $100,000 to date on renovations and improvements, including upgrades to both the draft beer system in the main bar area and the kitchen, which, according to head chef Michael Cunningham, will serve meals featuring locally produced and seasonal items.
The Costellos already have additional improvements planned, namely transforming the second floor into a banquet and dining hall with a lounge and constructing an outside second-floor deck for bistro seating. Those who wish to dine outside this summer won’t have to wait for that project to be complete; current options include seating on the courtyard patio, with strings of lights above the tables, or on the sidewalk patio out front.
The Costellos had initially planned to open in early June but the timeline kept getting pushed back due to various issues that arose while repairing the old building and its infrastructure.
The 3,500 square foot pub with about 20 employees is named after the Costello’s 3-year-old son, Finnbar. The name is Gaelic and means “fair-skinned one.” The couple also has a 1 ½-year-old daughter named Rose.
Finnbar’s Pub opens Friday at 5 p.m. with food being served until 9:30 p.m. Though closed on Sundays, regular hours will be 11 a.m. to around 2 a.m., with food served until 9:30 p.m.
On Friday, the Beatles tribute band called the All Paul Show will perform as part of Troy Night Out. Cunningham will feature an Irish menu, including an Irish stew.
Source: Danielle Sanzone, troyrecord.com