This site includes the postings from the Irish Aires email list. This includes a listing of Irish/Celtic events in the Houston area and other information that the Irish Aires radio program posts.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Patrick O'Flaherty's Pub Brings Taste of Irelanld To Lewisburg

Patrick O'Flaherty plays the mandolin on stage at the Irish Pub on Washington Street in Lewisburg. An eight-string Irish Bouzouki sits to his left. O'Flaherty sings in both Gaelic and English and has toured both nationally and internationally. Live music can be found at the pub five nights a week. Christian Giggenbach/The Register-Herald Pub brings taste of Ireland to Lewisburg By Christian Giggenbach Register-Herald reporter - LEWISBURG - The origin of the Irish Pub on Washington Street is rich with flavor and style, much like the eclectic, traditional Irish breakfast offered on its menu each Sunday. The family-run business - equally owned by the quartet of two parents, a daughter and her husband - sets the table perfectly for this family-friendly pub where you can "grab a Guinness" and sing along to every word of "Finnegans Wake," all the while being treated to live music and authentic Gaelic fare. The recently opened pub has quickly become the talk of downtown Lewisburg as the place to be for good food, good friends and good times. And don't ask for a burger and fries here because co-owners Andrea Izzo, who runs the bar, and her mother and officer manager Willa Izzo, won't be able to help you. True to its name, Irish stew, cheese and tomato sandwiches, and corned beef highlight the menu, which mirrors the no- nonsense style of pubs found in Ireland. Look closer at the top of the menu and you'll see the words "no changes or substitutes please" right beside "no separate checks - thanks." Willa and her husband of 43 years, Pat Izzo (that's the third owner for those keeping score), moved to Lewisburg on a lark 10 years ago. Pat got the inspiration to retire here after accompanying Willa to a reunion at her alma mater, the former Greenbrier College for Women - more commonly known today as Carnegie Hall. But the word retirement can hardly be used to describe the energetic pair while their new journey as entrepreneurs in the Greenbrier Valley plays out. Pat even continues to work three days a week as a physical therapist, despite his duties at the pub. "It's been wonderful and very invigorating," Willa, a retired physical therapist, said of the new venture. ------ At least 10 Irish whiskeys and a host of draft beers, including Smithwick's Irish Ale and Harp Irish Lager, are behind the 35-foot-long bar. The bar was built from the ground up by a Virginia carpenter who used planks of white oak restored from a barn in nearby Renick. The walls of the pub are adorned with regalia reminiscent of Ireland, complete with a "hurley stick," which is used to hit a leather ball in the Irish sport of hurling. "Our beer is served in Imperial pints of 20 ounces instead of the American style drafts which are normally 16 ounces," Andrea, who graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans, said. "We also serve Almost Heaven Amber, made in Thomas, West Virginia, and Woodchuck Cider. "I think the atmosphere is really key. People just feel comfortable, as if the pub has been here for a long time." ------ And what would an authentic Irish pub be without an authentic Irishman to make the scene just right? Enter Patrick O'Flaherty, Andrea's husband of 14 years, who completes the fourth ingredient in this family Irish Stew. Patrick comes to the Greenbrier Valley by way of the Province of Connacht and "Cathair na Gaillimhe" - the west coast Ireland city of Galway. Patrick lived there until age 18 and would later meet his future wife and business partner while honing his Irish musical talents in the New Orleans nightlife by playing the button accordion, banjo, mandolin, harmonica and a Celtic guitar known as a bouzouki. Andrea and Patrick met in 1989 while he worked and played at the famous O'Flaherty's Irish Channel Pub in New Orleans, which was owned by his brother. Singing in both Gaelic and English, Patrick has toured the world and performed for such notables as President Reagan and Pope John Paul II. Describing the music at the pub as a "Celtic umbrella," Patrick said a variety of Irish, Scottish and Gaelic songs are played live five nights a week. When he's not on stage at the pub, Pat uses his creativity in the kitchen, where he's responsible for making Shephard's pie and Sunday's Irish breakfast. "The Irish breakfast is served with black pudding, white pudding, Irish sausage, bacon (which is called ham in America) potatoes, beans, fried tomatoes and toast," O'Flaherty said in his distinct Irish accent. "In Ireland we believe that breakfast should fill you up and you shouldn't have to eat another meal until the evening." ------ The pub is open 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. The kitchen closes 10 p.m. On special Tuesday nights, look for the "Pub Quiz," where teams of patrons challenge each other in trivia - yet another tradition carried over from Ireland. Reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis and bring along the whole family as well, according to Pat. "We are a family friendly establishment and there is not a heavy emphasis on drinking," Pat said. "It's very informal and that's what an Irish pub is supposed to be." And without a doubt, the sign which hangs prominently behind the white oak bar says it all: "Cead mile failte" - "A thousand welcomes." For more information call 645-7386 or visit E-mail: Copyright c 1999-2006 cnhi, inc.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?