Authentic Irish pub to open in St. Anthony

Robyn Repya

Terry Keegan was so set on bringing an authentic Irish pub into Minneapolis, he had a handcrafted bar shipped over from Waterford, Ireland.

The bar – which features a traditional Irish clock in the center and was custom designed in turn-of-the-century Edwardian style – joins the all-Irish decor and ambiance of Keegan’s Irish Restaurant and Pub, expected to open in the historic St. Anthony Main neighborhood March 1.

Keegan said the location – in the new East Bank Village building across from Surdyk’s – is ideal.

“Even though it’s an older part of the city, it’s young in its attitude and true to its heritage,” Keegan said.

Keegan’s pub will be the first Minnesota bar in association with the Guinness Brewing Company’s Irish Pub Concept.

All bars operating under Guinness’s IPC must have an Irish design and build as well as Irish food and music, Keegan said. The bar must also have some Irish employees and, of course, Guinness beer.

Offering an array of beers, Keegan said, the bartenders will be well trained in the “Perfect Pint” method. Pouring the perfect 20-ounce pint is a two-part process because the beer has both carbon dioxide and nitrogen.

“If you do a one-part pour, the head doesn’t come out right,” Keegan said.

The two-part pour involves pouring the first three-fourths of the beer at a 45-degree angle, then allowing the beer to sit for two to three minutes before adding the rest.

Keegan’s manager Marty Neumann said the pub already seems to be drawing attention. He said he received 400 applications in the first week of hiring.

Neumann said he’s gearing up for St. Patrick’s Day with menu preparations that include a special beef stew for the occasion.

The pub is intended to have a cozy atmosphere, closely mimicking that of neighborhood pubs in Ireland.

In order to perpetuate that ambiance, the pub will have only one television and will feature a poet’s corner with a fireplace and books.

Keegan said the pub will play only Irish music, ranging from traditional to popular bands such as U2.

Neumann said these amenities will create an atmosphere perfect for conversation.

“A pub is supposed to be a small environment focusing on customer service,” Neumann said.

Jerry Hinman, owner of the neighboring Taraccino Cafe, agrees. He said old St. Anthony businesses thrive on customer service.

Hinman said the neighborhood has the potential to draw in many customers, given its proximity to downtown.

He said the pub is a welcome addition to the neighborhood and will fit in nicely because all the local businesses have different specialties.

Keegan said he thinks people in the area will appreciate the pub’s laid-back atmosphere, especially in contrast to loud and rowdy bars.

“Our theme is a place where you can enjoy the art of conversation,” he said.

Robyn Repya welcomes comments at [email protected]