I’m shocked too! I’ve been thinking about closing for sometime now and I decided to do it,” said Dan Steele, 27 year long owner of Brian Boru late this afternoon. “No one has bought the property,” he said, several times to this surprised blogger.
The not so wild and crazy speculation during this time of gentrification all over Portland was that the property had been sold. Another condominium? An offer Steele couldn’t refuse. First, they were stunned to learn of its closure. Second, they assumed that the building had been sold to an-out-of-stater and wondered what would become of their favorite watering hole.
Steele, a self-described “type A’ personality, said he wants some time to “be calm” and figure out what he will do next. Steele was at the popular Pub every day it was open. That’s a Type A for sure!
He gave short notice to his employees and the public because he didn’t want to drag it out a long time. Steele said he’s had no problem hiring because it’s a “great place to work.” The shortage of restaurant workers was not an issue here Steele said, although it is in other venues. in the area.
After he made the announcement last night, he contacted his staff and told all twenty employees that he’d work out a severance package for them soon. He will support them in their job search. Steele says he has no idea what the future of this property will be.
Andrew Doody said: “This place is like home to me.” He would come here and always find someone he knew he said. Years ago Doody used to play with his band here frequently. The kitchen closed a few years ago, because much more money can be made from a bar, although the Pub was known for its good Irish food. Reubens, soups and Bangers. What is that? Something imported from Bangor?
“We were very surprised to hear this news. Especially because extensive renovations have been done over the past year,” said John Bass, a marketing professional.
“There has been a shift recently. The Pub has worked on bringing in younger people by adding dancing and a lot of live musicians. “It definitely became the place to be,” said Bass, wearing a shirt with lobsters crawling all over it. “They don’t pinch,” he said laughing. “They are cooked.” (See above left photo of Bass).
Rose Mahoney, a Portland resident and frequent visitor to the Pub, had a dozen farewell posters created by a graphics designer across the street. She was busy posting them around the interior dark-red interior. But then patrons began removing them from the walls as souveners and collecting autographs from buddies there.
Patrons at the Happy Hour expressed concern that someone is buying up properties of vulnerable businesses in the area; the recent surprise sale of the property of Silly’s, on Washington Avenue, the closure of Lolita’s on the HIll and now this Pub were cited as examples.
“When you hit the wall in this business you know it’s over,” said Rick Tubbs, a former manager at Parker Reedy, on Exchange Street in the Old Port of Portland.
Steele hails from New Bedford, Massachusetts, where his family was in the newspaper business. He would not say whether or not he supports King Trump. “I don’t discuss politics at work.”