Posted by: guinness222 | December 15, 2018

A Good Irish Pub is always a winner!!!!

Long ago in a far off galaxy I used to own an Irish Pub. IT WAS GREAT!!

But as a profitable business it was not the best ,…BUT it had the heaviest, and most awkward “Albatross” around it’s neck from day one! Let me explain, and please give me your comments , let me know your opinions when you finish, please.

The primary business I owned was a 15,000 sq. foot Country Western Dance Club, designed and built to look like a full old Western Town with the 1500 sq ft dance floor that was the Main Street of the mystical town, varied levels of seating, all adjacent to the dance floor and a stage with a stage front made to look like an authentic old Western Town “opera hall”.

Anyway the egregious “rent” on the Country Western Dance Club was $5000, a month, BUT it was only allowed one (1) liquor license per premise, or business, and it could not be split or otherwise “adapted”.

We also had a small area that we converted into a “Steak House” that sat about 120 people at full capacity. And that’s where the “rub” came. Simple math, $5,000 a month for rent, plus payroll and other usual and customary costs, entertainment management, bartenders, doorman, cleaning, salaries and labor, payrolls, insurances, taxes permits, and food costs, even scaled down to an Irish Pub size,the break even per customer was huge, and I didn’t want to create a “Gin Mill”, lest we wind up being targeted by the police the Alcoholic Beverages Commission, the health inspectors, Undercover narcotics inspectors and other “you name it” factors, etc.

And I certainly did not want to spend my late nights breaking up “bar fights” and all the other Behavioral problems that occur. (Quick aside, I never experienced being served with as many “Restraining Orders in the first six months of running a business in my entire life, and I’d been an entrepreneur since I was 24 years old!!)

I tried every idea I could dream up in marketing and making the Pub succeed. I found a lot of the old working families that had worked in the City that were the original descendants of the influx of Irish immigrants who worked the 125 year old factory that the building had been before I started my re-models to become the Country Western Dance Club, and subsequently Irish pub, and the University of New Hampshire was only 7 or 8 miles down the road.

It did work,…but not the way I really felt it should. Then I found out a lot of the descendants of the Irish working families regarded my intent and attitudes as being that of “PLASTIC IRISH”, Just out to make a buck!!!

Couldn’t be farther from the truth!! But who ever listens. My vision for it was that of the old Irish Pub which served as the “Neighborhood Social Club” with something for everyone, hence a Pool Table, three Dart Courts, a full bar and ALWAYS Guinness on Draft, and seven other draft beers, mostly imported or crowd pleasers like the Sam Adams Line, always featured local “Micro Breweries” and their unique offerings plus the most authentic Irish food menu we could beg, borrow or steal, Plus variations on standards, like “Irish Nacho’s”, Guinness Beef Stew served in a Boule Bread bowl which was also edible, (and super delicious by itself with beef stew juices absorbed in the bread and the “French Bread type crusty basis”.

I had a daily special for dinner for the UNH College kids of a Guinness Beef Stew in the Boule Roll bowl, and a full Pour of a “Guinness Pint”, for $5.95!!! I always remember the week of UNH graduation I was slammed, The parents insisted on their students who spent their dinner money on my Pub’s “Student Special” and each and everyone of them thanked me personally for taking care of their kids. (My claim to fame then became that of “The guy who put the kids through UNH and feed them right!” .

My daughter called me and asked if she could have her wedding at the Pub, “it was officially titled, “The Emerald Rose Pub”. I said sure (at least I would get to meet all of her friends, And throw a real Wedding and Reception no one would ever forget. Then I started getting calls for After Baptism Parties, First Holy Communion Parties, Weddings, Anniversaries, even had after burial “funeral Parties”, Reunions of Irish Tour groups, (we had several genuine Irish Tour guide leaders, worldwide acclaimed Irish musicians, and other celebrities.

It was a pleasure to run, and really a payback from the entire community the way the old Pubs of Ireland were for social ability, and “just friends”, the Epitome of the “Cheers” mentality I was hoping for as a result.

But no matter where I go I haven’t found anything, or place to rival it.

It was, a life wish completed,….and my wife ran the entire kitchen, my Brother-in-law Tom as my Doorman , and did a fantastic job, my daughter was a waitress, and we held our share of “benefits” for all the major causes, and even a Country Western Lunch and Dance day at no cost for the then Presidential Candidate Ross Perot! We have had Jim Haller, world renown Chef, author and owner of “The Blue Strawberry” of Portsmouth New Hampshire, who was selected to write a cookbook for the Terminally Ill by the government of Canada, as a guest chef for a benefit for AIDS and we never charged or asked for a dime, ….that’s where giving back to your community is your obligation, and duty, and the “Thank you”for their support!

We all have dreams and I wish everyone could achieve at least a couple of them that they really wish for within their lifetime!

But all good things must come to an end. The Landlord had an opportunity to rent out all of my leased space to the Contractor who grades all the College Board Essays, so as I said it all came to an end,…..I was forced to close it, file Bankruptcy for the businesses, and upon advise of my Attorneys file Personal Bankruptcy as well. We lost our home, our possessions, and at 55 years old had no choice but to pull up stakes and move. So here I am in Florida since 1997.

Would I do it all again,…..short answer,..”in a heartbeat”. But financially, at 74 now, both money, investors and “future management viability is Questionable.

But you can make dreams come true, just persevere, and follow the dream, as they say in the Marines, “adapt, overcome, and advance!”

If not, you then become one of those folks who NEVER truly achieve something you’ve really wanted to do, 100% on your own, with all the skills you’ve ever learned and had in your gut, ….”or inner child”.

A great though for Christmas. I wish all of you the courage to pursue your dreams, and succeed or fail on your own merit and terms!


December 15, 2018

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