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Kildare’s finds home in campus Gateway

Ron Miles / Lantern photographer

After several months of renovations and design, Kildare’s Irish Pub opened its new location in the South Campus Gateway with the sounds of a bagpipe.

Owner and CEO Dave Magrogan and general manager Chris Wallick led the ribbon-cutting ceremony at about 5:45 p.m., on Thursday. With bagpiper Robert Black from Columbus playing in the background, the pub officially opened with a VIP, invite-only party benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund until 9 p.m., when it opened to the general public. The night featured live musical performances from The Drowsy Lads, DJ Devo and attracted a full house.

One of the key features of Kildare’s is the design of the pub, which is inspired by traditional Irish pubs. The furniture and decor, known as bric-a-brac, also comes from Ireland.


The exterior of the pub is painted bright red and blue. Magrogan said he got the idea for the colors from various pubs in Ireland.

“Ireland was never an economic powerhouse and pubs didn’t have a lot of money for signs,” Magrogan said. “They painted pubs bright colors so when you were walking down the street, you could see a bright red building and know that was the pub in town.”

Magrogan was able to get samples of paint from two different pubs in Ireland: The Quays in Galway and Temple Bar in Dublin. He had the samples matched and painted the exterior of Kildare’s to pay tribute to these two pubs.

Kildare’s was designed to incorporate five different pub styles found throughout Ireland. When you enter the pub in the Gateway, the bottom floor resembles a shop pub, found throughout Ireland in smaller towns, where pubs would share real estate with general stores.

Walking up to the second floor of Kildare’s leads to the brew pub, designed in tribute to the Guinness factory in Dublin. This area of the upstairs includes a circular bar with copper to resemble a brewery and leads out to the second-floor patio that overlooks the Gateway and High Street.

Next to the brew pub is the Victorian-style pub, which is characterized with rich and darker colors, columns and a fire place. The long dining table in the center of the Victorian pub can be removed to allow for dance space during the evening.

Bands and disc jockeys will perform in the Gaelic-style pub, which pays tribute to one of the oldest cultures in Ireland. Lighter wood and live entertainment can be found in this area.

The final section of the pub, which is still under construction, is the cottage pub. Once completed, the cottage pub will feature its own bar and can be closed off from the rest of Kildare’s for private parties.

Sergei Rotnov, a fifth-year in communication and Spanish linguistics, said Kildare’s is a great “change-of-pace bar,” but was let down by the cost of his beer.

“(It’s) a nice atmosphere,” Rotnov said. “I was disappointed that Guinness was so expensive.”

A pint of Guinness at Kildare’s is $6.50, while other beers are generally less expensive, depending on the beer. The average meal price at Kildare’s is about $10–$12.

Though Kildare’s kept to its Irish name in designing the pub, Magrogan explained that they kept OSU in mind.

“Throughout the pub, you can find pieces of Ohio State decor,” Magrogan said.

Football helmets, buckeyes and paintings are a few things that can be found in subtle amounts.

Kate Beran, a manager of the restaurant and bar Mad Mex located in the Gateway, did not notice a decrease in customers during the weekend.

“We were not noticably slower, Thursday and Friday night were really busy,” Beran said. “We’re pretty set in what our concept is, Mad Mex pretty much sells itself.”

After months of preparing for the opening, Wallick said she was proud of her staff for what they had accomplished with preparations.

“A great deal of effort went into all of this,” Wallick said.

Sean Branick, a fifth-year in continuing education, said he decided to check out Kildare’s once it was open to the public Thursday night.

“When you walk in this place it’s like stepping into an authentic pub in Ireland,” Branick said. “I was able to grab a Guinness, and have a good time with some friends.”

The opening of Kildare’s in the Gateway is the seventh location, including locations at the campuses of Penn State University and the University of North Carolina. Magrogan said he believes their newest location is the perfect spot for a pub.

“We love the diversity of the area and the community,” Magrogan said. “Coming to this spot, we could cater to Columbus and to the Gateway, which lacks an authentic Irish pub.”

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