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Traditional Irish style moves into Ohio State’s South Campus Gateway

Thomas Bradley / Campus editor

Construction is now underway at the South Campus Gateway, and a new Irish pub will attempt to bring authentic pub styles from Ireland to Columbus, Ohio.

What once stood as McFadden’s Restaurant & Saloon, is now transforming into Kildare’s Irish Pub.

The building is being gutted, furniture and décor is arriving on location and the new Kildare’s is preparing to open in February.

Management opted to import authentic decorations from Ireland to help design an interior that represents five different specific Irish pub styles.

Frank Daley, marketing manager for the Dave Magrogen Group, which owns all Kildare’s locations, said the owner will travel to Ireland to find furniture and décor for each pub style. Daley said each pub style will be featured in a different section of the restaurant.

“About two times per year, the owner goes to antique shops and estate sales in Ireland and purchases different things for our locations,” Daley said. “Everything is from Ireland, even the chairs.”

These purchased goods are then stored in warehouses located in Ireland and Pennsylvania. The architect for the restaurant looks at the items in these warehouses, and designs each pub style around what is available.

If production remains on schedule, Daley said the opening date for Kildare’s is set for Feb. 16. The grand opening was originally targeted for January. A ribbon cutting with the Chamber of Commerce is scheduled for 5:45 p.m., followed by a VIP invite-only party from 6-9 p.m., with doors opening to the public at 9 p.m.

The first style in Kildare’s is what Daley called shop pubs, which are popular in remote areas of Ireland, where pubs would share real estate with such places as a general store or a post office.

“A husband and a wife could go to the shop pub to pick up fabric for clothes, grab medicines and get a pint while they are there,” Daley said.

This section of the restaurant will feature bric-a-brac, items you could find in a general store, such as old medicine jars, tea kettles and signs, all on the walls.

“It will look like you are in the general store, only in Ireland,” Daley said.

The details that are being put into Kildare’s seem to be interesting some students on campus.

Logan Hunter, a first-year in pharmaceutical sciences, said he thinks the idea of an Irish pub in the campus area is attractive.

“That’s different than most other stuff around,” Hunter said. “They’re going decent lengths to bring some cool stuff over from Ireland.”

Another pub style featured in Kildare’s is the Victorian pub. This kind of pub has an upscale style to it, such as one you would find in downtown Dublin, characterized by darker woods, richer colors, nicer fabric patterns and a fire place. All of these plus antique benches will be featured in this section of the restaurant.

The cottage pub is the next style that will be represented in Kildare’s. Cottage pubs are one of the oldest styles of pubs in Ireland. In remote areas, people would congregate to the largest living room around to hang out, and the host would serve pints to guests.

“The person hosting would be the most public person in town and received the name publican, which is actually where the term pub came from,” Daley said.

As a tribute to Guinness’ success for more than 250 years in the brewing industry, the brew pub style will be another style featured at Kildare’s. Originating in Kildare County, the factory moved to its Dublin location. Daley mentioned that brewery tours are available to the public, which end with a pint of Guinness served at a copper-top circular bar at the building pinnacle that offers guests a 360-degree view of the city to enjoy while they relax.

“We are incorporating the copper-top bar as well as a view for guests in this part of the pub,” Daley said.

Gaelic style pubs will be the final style featured in the restaurant. Daley explained that Gaelic is often confused with Celtic, which includes Welsh, English and French. In this style, lighter colored woods will be used, which were featured in many tools and furniture from this time. Knot work was used to represent family background, and will be displayed on the walls in this part of the restaurant.

In comparison to the other bars located in the Gateway, Michael Queen, a fourth-year in social work, said he believes the idea of a pub is more appealing.

“It’s cool because you go to Ugly Tuna and Charlie Bear, where people are dancing and drunk girls are degrading themselves, it’s hard to relax,” Queen said. “It gives you a chance to go out with buddies and have a beer without all the bullcrap.”

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