A tornado warning and heavy downpour will not stop the Irish from getting important work done. In fact, it motivates them to hustle.
The McGreal’s of Quiet Man Public House at 15 N. Division Street in Peekskill proved it last Friday as they welcomed the rain as they took down scaffolding in front of their brand new bar and restaurant.
“For the Irish, rain is good luck. It rains 90 percent of the time there,” said manager Joe McGreal, who helped plan and build the bar with its owner, his brother Chuck McGreal.
Passers by clapped and cheered as the temporary wood came down. Friends and strangers then stood back to appreciate the building’s thoughtful and striking new look- a detailed wooden façade painted traditional Gaelic colors, black and gold. Lanterns and golden harps are hung above the doorways.
“The harp is Ireland’s original symbol,” Chuck explained, adding that many people think it is the green, white and orange flag colors or a shamrock.
Originally born in County Mayo, Ireland, and now a well-established member of Peekskill’s Irish community, Chuck, 42, would be the one to know that sort of detail about his homeland.
From inside to out, the pub demonstrates both he and Joe’s dedication to their culture and their respect for detail.
The brothers take particular pride in three major elements of their bar: the Guinness, the food and the design.
“We will treat our Guinness as if it is a dairy product,” Chuck said.
“A lot of people don’t give it the respect it deserves,” said Joe, 32.
They mean it. They say they have gone through great lengths to ensure they have the best Guinness in the area. You can’t pour a proper Guinness unless it is stored, handled, pumped and poured according to Guinness’ standards, which the McGreals do not take lightly.
“Guinness is almost a religion onto itself,” explained Joe.
The food is traditional pub fare deconstructed by Chuck. The McGreals mother worked as a cook their whole lives and passed her skills on to her sons. It includes things like beer battered cheese rather than mozzarella sticks and a potato scallion dish rather than potato skins. Entres include things like lamb burgers, Mama McGreals curried chicken, chicken cutlet B.L.T., and much more. The McGreals plan to keep prices at a competitive level as well.
The brothers believe that the Guinness and food are two important elements of their business, but they also take great pride in the look and design of the bar.
Chuck owns Hibernia Wood Design in Peekskill and has been building bars through that business for years. He has been in Peekskill for the last ten years and lived and worked in southern Westchester for several years before that. He was meticulous in using quality wood in his bar and incorporating his country’s history. Arches from 1891, originally used in an Irish church, decorate the bar; dividers were placed between bar stools in traditional Irish fashion; the bar top is made of the USS North Carolina’s floor boards, Joe installed color changing LED lights behind the bar to add to the ambiance; and a unique “Pour Your Own Pint” table sits in the front window.
The table will have its own keg hooked up inside. Parties can rent it by opening a tab at the bar, the bartender will let the tap flow and patrons will be able to pour their own pints throughout the night (or until they get cut off).
And the McGreals didn’t just keep the drinkers and partiers in mind when planning their bar, they also have a large 10-seat table in the back where businesses people can easily plug into the electric socket, use the free WiFi, grab a bite to eat and be on their way.
Just past the large table a door leads you to an outside courtyard that Chuck referred to as a “hidden garden.” Exposed brick, riverstone and sandstone covered in vines serve as walls. The place seems like a rural stone barn in Ireland but at the same time feels like a tucked away East Village beer garden. The area seats about 40 people and the McGreal’s plan is to utilize it as long as the weather allows.
Last week, Consul General of Ireland Noel Kilkenny stopped by, ceremoniously poured the first pint of Guinness and gave the place an unofficial stamp of approval.
The Guinness is cold, the food is fresh and the atmosphere is friendly. Starting this weekend you can try it all out for yourself. The McGreals plan to open on Friday, but check thequietmanpublichouse.com for details.
For the first few weeks the bar will open around 3 p.m. and the restaurant will be open for dinner around 5 p.m. Later on the restaurant will open for lunch earlier in the afternoon. Check Patch for updates.
Watch the video above to see Chuck explain all of the interesting Irish history that he has incorporated into the design of the bar.