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Authentic Irish pub, Kildare’s, tries its luck in the South Campus Gateway

Cody Cousino / Photo editor

After five years of serving up bombs, brews and other beverages in the South Campus Gateway, McFadden’s Restaurant & Saloon closed its doors this summer. The space did not remain vacant for long, however, as Kildare’s Irish Pub moved in.

Kildare’s owner and CEO Dave Magrogan is eager to introduce Ohio State students to an authentic Irish pub.

So as to not miss out on the bar owner’s dream of the OSU football season, Magrogan said the space is operating as The Pub & Restaurant for the fall. After a full renovation and deep clean, it will re-open in January with “Kildare’s Irish Pub” over its doors.

Even though it is an Irish pub taking the place of a previous Irish bar, Magrogan feels the renovations are necessary.

There is a lot of work that goes into making an authentic Irish pub.

“Though [McFadden’s] had a shamrock here and there, there was nothing making it stand out as Irish,” Magrogan said.

Kildare’s is aiming to be different in that everything will be imported from Ireland. There will be a shipment of four containers of Irish bars, furniture and antiques, as well as bric-a-brac, which Magrogan said includes clocks, pictures and old bottles.

Much to the dismay of happy-hour-seeking OSU Students, Kildare’s will focus more on the restaurant aspect as opposed to the bar scene that was McFadden’s. And unlike McFadden’s, which had a popular 18-and-up night on Wednesdays, Kildare’s will be 21-and-up every night after 10 p.m. There will also be nights with live music featured. Local bands are encouraged to send a demo to the marketing director for booking availability.

Kildare’s boasts an award-winning full menu and will serve 12 beers, only one of which will be domestic, Bud Light. In 2005, Zagat gave Kildare’s an “Excellent Rating” for its traditional Irish soul food. All beers will be served in their signature 21-ounce imperial pint glass, and they will not offer plastic cups. Bartenders will expertly pour layered beers, a signature in Irish pubs, where one beer is poured on top of another. For instance, a black and tan is when Guinness is poured on top of a Bass Pale Ale.

Some students are skeptical of Kildare’s being less casual than most campus hangouts. Robert Holbert, a fourth-year in computer science and engineering, has been to the Kildare’s in Newark, Del., at the University of Delaware.

“I’ll probably check [Kildare’s] out when it opens but I don’t think I’ll visit it on a regular basis,” Holbert said.

Holbert said his main concern was price because Kildare’s will serve mainly imported beers, which can run up a bar tab.

Magrogan is also concerned with the college students’ budgets and said Kildare’s would always offer daily specials plus premium beer specials, such as $3 for a Stella Artois. In addition, there will be food specials to draw in hungry students, such as $5 burgers and 35-cent wing nights.

Not all are excited about the Irish pub swap.

Morgan Allen, former director of marketing and promotions for McFadden’s and a fourth-year in communication, is sad to see McFadden’s close as she was close with the staff.

“To watch people who worked so hard and had a true love and passion for their job just to have it get taken away from them, and being in a management position, you keep thinking, ‘What could I have done differently to avoid this?'” Allen said.

Though Allen knew McFadden’s had experienced difficulties in the past, she and the other employees thought the business was doing well and the news of its closing came as a surprise to them all.

“I think [Kildare’s] is in for a college shock of the century. I know they have other locations at college campuses but no one has seen parties like the Ohio State University,” Allen said.

Magrogan is braced for the impact.

“We want Ohio State students to know that there will be consistency with our service. We provide a great level of customer service in a great atmosphere,” Magrogan said. “You’re going to be treated and fed well and you’ll drink well and have a great time.”

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