Tuesday, March 9, 2010

New Irish Pub restaurant opens in Donelson

McNamara's up and running just in time for St. Patrick's DayBy Andy Humbles • THE TENNESSEAN • March 8, 2010 Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, McNamara’s Irish Pub & Restaurant has taken over the Plantation House restaurant site, hoping to make Donelson a destination for a bit of Ireland. Proprietor Sean McNamara leads the ownership group, having established himself by playing Irish music at different establishments in the Nashville area since 1995. “I’m taking 15 years of Irish pub experience and incorporating what I’ve seen work, and I’ve tried to incorporate that,’’ McNamara said. It’s a true, authentic Irish pub and restaurant from the moment you walk in — from the décor, to the music and hospitality.’’ Kirk Orndorff is the general manager. Paula McNamara, born and raised in Ireland, is active in the business ownership. “She lends the authenticity to the place,’’ Sean McNamara said of his wife. The new owners have renovated the building at 2740 Old Lebanon Pike that was last home to E. Devine’s Good Times restaurant which replaced Plantation House. McNamara estimated the building was vacant about 10 months. Councilman Phil Claiborne believed the timing with the down economy and with inconsistency of hours hurt E. Devine’s Good Times, a restaurant and sports bar concept. Business for McNamara’s has been good, and Claiborne believes it will work. “It should be a real asset for the community; I hope folks get behind it,’’ Claiborne said of McNamara’s. “It brings to this side of town something totally different than anything that has been here or is here.’’ The location is just off Lebanon Pike, but the restaurant is visible from the high traffic thoroughfare, one reason it was attractive to McNamara. “I think Donelson needed something like this,’’ said customer Emily Scholes, a Hermitage resident. Scholes had been to both the Plantation House and E. Devine’s Good Times. “I think it trumps the other two,’’ she said. “The atmosphere, the location. It works.’’ McNamara’s offers live music regularly Thursdays through Sundays. That will include his band that has been known as Nosey Flynn. McNamara has his own name recognition as well. Irish foods will be offered as will mainstream menu items. The restaurant will be smoke-free. Different areas of the restaurant have different Irish themes. The upstairs houses an Irish theme sports pub that will show the major sporting events of interest here. It was scheduled to open last week. The music business drew McNamara to Nashville in 1995, and he first worked as a waiter and then bartender at Mulligan’s Pub And Restaurant. That position evolved into work as the house band. “McNamara’s going to be known for music,’’ he said. Initial opening was in mid-February and the grand opening was March 5.

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