Oldest Irish pub in America becomes newest
And now for a little St. Patrick's Day quiz: What is both the oldest and newest Irish Pub in America?
The West Side pub, established in 1847, has long claimed the oldest title. But in a sense, the joint is brand new; it re-opened just last weekend after a year-long hiatus.
The Rowley family cut back the pub's hours to once a week in November 2008, then closed it completely a couple months later, so they could focus on opening Patrick's Irish Pub and Restaurant in Frederick.
"We were at Pratt Street for 163 years," said Pat Rowley, whose wife, Anne, is owner. "We had a business plan that said, 'Every 163 years, open a new location.' We're not moving real fast, you know."
The West Side decor is the same, but Rowley said the menu has changed from formal sit-down dining to less expensive "pub grub."
"Good hearty foods that won't break the bank is what we're going for," said chef Zu Pinsker, who had been sous chef at the restaurant for four years.
Patrick's also will aim to offer local, seasonal foods, though Zeke's Coffee is about it for now.
"This is a bad time of year for that," she said. "As soon as the farmers' market kicks up, we're going."
Patrick and Anne Rowley at Patrick's. Sun photo by Barbara Haddock Taylor