Why I Do This
Like millions of Americans, I am from a proud Irish heritage. My family came over to the United States in the nineteenth century. After a couple of generations of struggle, my great-grandparents were able to pull themselves up and become successful entrepreneurs. While their business was actually in clothing retail, it was their business spirit that was transferred to me and inspired me to start my own business.
Keeping with the Irish tradition was extremely important to me. I wanted to share my family’s legacy and the joy of my people with other Irish descendants and anyone who appreciates Irish and Celtic culture. The culture is beautiful in itself, just like the beauty of our homeland.
Running a pub is the hardest thing I have ever tried to do. It may have been a burden of love, but it was still not as simple as I had previously envisioned it would be. I had envisioned hanging out behind a bar, pouring drinks while enjoying one myself, and chit-chatting with the patrons who came in. But the reality was that you have to turn a profit in order to be successful. It’s work that takes over your entire life. It’s not about socializing (which you do have to do in order to get to know your clientele), but making ends meet, watching your staff, and being on call no matter what. If something happens at the pub while I’m not there, I will still get the call to come there. It is, in that way, my baby. And funnily enough, owning a pub often takes me away from my babies.
In the pub circuit, I got my start as a classic college bartender, pouring drinks for the richer college kids who were wealthy enough to use their dad’s Amex card. But I learned a lot there; what a good patron looks like, how to provide good customer service, in addition to how to make drinks, and I got to see how a bar was run. While owning a bar and overseeing a bar are two very different things, having the bartending experience was essential to being a successful boss. I understand my workers from a firsthand perspective,
because I’ve been there. When you need to work to make the rent at the same time as wanting to call in sick so you can go to the beach with your friends, I know the tricks of the trade and can appreciate them, while criticizing them.
Ultimately, keeping my family’s Irish heritage alive and thriving makes my world complete. It’s wonderful to be able to share, in a way, my family’s legacy with the family who walks in to enjoy my long pour and Irish stew. As hard as it is, it is still more wonderful than I could ever describe. Running a pub is definitely worth the hard work and time that it takes to be successful and I would really encourage anyone who is interested in putting their whole person into to start one.