Irish Pub Won't Be Open by St. Paddy's

You can expect South Pasadena's newest neighborhood spot to be open early May.

You've seen the sign. "Coming to the neighborhood ... Traditional Irish Pub."

But when? 

Owner Joseph Griffin is shooting for early May: "Everything is very specific, and as much as I would like to open, it's better the right way."

Griffin says residents can expect a cozy—yet open and inviting place—harking back to the old Irish pubs of the Victorian era. The antique wooden bar, golden ceilings and 115-year-old solid ash church pews will set the tone—perfect for the historic feel already prevalent in South Pasadena's downtown. 

"I would not do this necessarily in North Hollywood," he explains. "It would lose its je ne sais quoi. This belongs here."

"It's not about me coming here to try and change [the area]. It's a meeting," he continued. 

And the community seems to be embracing the idea of a bar just fine.

Not only has South Pasadena Patch been vetting questions about the pub's opening, but Griffin has also gotten his fair share of inquiries from the community. But "you don't want to just push it to open the doors. It would be self-defeating," he says of his hard work. 

Griffin bought the storefront at 1007 Mission Street about eight months ago—but he's been eyeing the building since Christmas of 2010. Previously Wine Styles, it's been vacant for almost a year. 

"[After] it went out of business ... I was driving with my daughter from the Arroyo, and she said, 'Dad, that place you want is for lease.' And that's where it all started," Griffin explained. 

The South Pas pub will be modeled slightly after his partner/brother's Irish Pub in Montreal, Canada, Griffin says. The food will be "simple but ... well-made—maybe five or six main courses."

And there will be beer—lots of it. 

With a background in acting, Girffin says, "I enjoy being around people, entertaining people, and seeing them have a good time."

In the electronic age, he is more than happy to create a neighborhood place where South Pasadeneans can get together and actually talk face-to-face. He just hopes the community doesn't turn on him in anticipation of the pub's opening. 

Oh, and you might be wondering: Does this Irish pub have a name?

No, not yet. But we'll be the first to report when it does. 

Sam Burgess March 18, 2012 at 04:54 PM
O.K., back to this traditional pub thing. Will someone please explain to this woefully ignorant non-Irish person what exactly is a "traditional" Irish pub? Is it a taco and cabbage or maybe sushi and corned beef? Come-on folks enlightened me before this unnamed enterprise opens!!!!!
Marvion March 18, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Easy there, Tolstoy. Your comment cannot exceed 1500 characters. 16572 characters too many!
Minerva Preciado March 18, 2012 at 07:48 PM
I am very excited that an Irish pub will be opening soon. I actually took a photo of the facade with my cell and sent it to my daughter at Boston College. She was in Ireland last Spring and commented on how wonder the bars were there. Next thing she' s wondering why we don' t have one in our community. Looking forward to a new place that we can patronize and enjoy a great evening with some friends!
Ron Rosen March 18, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Easy there, James Joyce.
Sam Burgess March 18, 2012 at 11:39 PM
Minerva, Did your daughter comment on the nature of a "traditional" Irish pub? Kristen. How about the Irish Public House?---The McBurgess Pub?---South Pasadena Shamrock?---
Victor March 19, 2012 at 01:59 AM
I heard that the name was supposed to be "Honey Martin," like the supposed companion pub in Montreal. Whatever. GIVE ME BEER!
Michael March 19, 2012 at 03:24 AM
A Pub (Public House) in Ireland is a gathering place for everyone "public", including families. That would be traditional. I am assuming that will be the case if they want to be like all traditional Irish pubs in Ireland.
Sam Burgess March 19, 2012 at 03:36 AM
Thanks, Michael. Now for naming our very own Public House.
Sam Burgess March 19, 2012 at 03:58 PM
This post is primarily to keep Patch from hiding this very important blog/article. Sooo....give a name to this poor, unknown public house.
Marvion March 20, 2012 at 06:05 AM
'quacklutzero: great nic macbeerdod.. locally they are to open an irish pub in may,, they ask for readers to hint names for pub.. hmm macbeerdod perhaps (welsh i guess)'.. an excerpt from my internet radio chatterooms' postings.. so,, ready for my idea? "bluningreeneryellowereddish" alike the color of the rainbow pronounced (bluing greenery yellower reddish) with a pot of gold at either end.. doh free beer if idea is used
Sam Burgess March 20, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Marvion, freebeerjust4yuridea seauatbluningreeneryellowereddish...or...maybe...The McBurgess Public House
Jay March 24, 2012 at 04:20 AM
Hope this is a comfortable pub where one can have a pint of the black, and not trip over strollers.
Janet Cartwright March 25, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Donald O'Connor March 28, 2012 at 04:25 AM
can't wait!!!!!
Lisa Lee March 28, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Ms. Cartwright, My grandmothers would have invited you to visit Ireland to see how they welcomed children and how their communities revolved around family. Many of your patch comments are quite offensive. Calling children spawn, parents breeders and not wanting them to be allowed in this new Irish pub is disturbing. Everyone would like this pub to be authentic and that would necessitate food and families. Stressed parents can relax, have a meal and a pint with their kids and then go to bed and the bar stays open. To claim there is a shortage of places for singles is ridiculous. I can name 6 or more off the top of my head and patronized them all before I had a baby! We all know Pasadena is full of great places for singles. South Pasadena is a special city because it has a wonderful school district that draws in families with children from all over SoCal. This city is carried on the backs of families with children. In any event, an adults only pub on Mission wouldn't survive financially. There would be a freeway over South Pasadena if we had more residents like Ms. Cartwright.
spidra March 28, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Pubs are family places in Ireland but Ireland also has significantly different laws than California does. The question is how the owners are composing the place. If it's a restaurant with a bar attached, it's legal for minors to be there. If it's primarily a bar, it's not legal for minors to be present. http://www.ehow.com/facts_7610344_laws-minor-children-bars-california.html Unfortunately, I don't know at what point a pub carrying "pub food" shades into "restaurant". And speaking of highly charged language, an unsupported statement like "This city is carried on the backs of families with children" or a wild accusation like "There would be a freeway over South Pasadena if we had more residents like Ms. Cartwright" is just as polarizing. I agree that Ms. Cartwright's language is unnecessarily insulting. Let's all try to discuss this in a civil manner. Regardless of how it turns out, it's not as if there will be no place in South Pasadena for families with children to go for relaxation. Family entertainment is not in the least endangered in South Pasadena.
Kristen Lepore (Editor) March 28, 2012 at 08:34 PM
The conversation continues here: http://patch.com/A-rTcS Where do adults hang in South Pas?
Janet Cartwright March 28, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Blah blah blah..
Sam Burgess March 28, 2012 at 11:40 PM
O.K., a return to the important matter. Bestowing a name to this unnamed non-american establishment. After much investigation and great intellectual conversation with 3 of the most enlightened people I have yet to meet, it was agreed that The Mc Burgess Public House was the most appropriate name for this soon to be fine traditional Irish Pub.
Gionne Bozzi March 28, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Thanks for bringing it back, Sam. Based in that name alone, I'd frequent it. Cheers!
Susan Swift April 12, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Grand opening party tomorrow night, Friday April 13th at 7:30pm. Let's hope the "luck of the Irish" counters Friday the 13th . BTW, I think "luck of the Irish" would be a grand name for the pub....
Kristen Lepore (Editor) April 12, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Great news, Susan! Where is this advertised?
Kristen Lepore (Editor) April 12, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Hey all: Just spoke with Joseph. There will be no grand opening tomorrow (Friday). That was a false alarm. The pub is still slated to open early May—in time for the Eclectic Music Festival. Check back with Patch for developments. We should have the name confirmed soon :)
Susan Swift April 12, 2012 at 08:52 PM
My bad -- party is not for public, private friends only. Got a text from a mutual friend. My apologies to the Patch community.
Kristen Lepore (Editor) April 13, 2012 at 05:40 AM
Looks like the Irish pub has been named: http://patch.com/A-syTp
Micki Carroll April 13, 2012 at 05:35 PM
About 'what is a traditional Irish pub?'...my favorite definition is a sign I saw on a pub in Dublin: "Good Beer, Good Music, Good Craic* ...and I'm hoping we engage in all 3 at the Griffin's fine establishment! *Good Craic (even though it's rather unfortunately prounced "good crack") is good conversation, a fine old Irish art indeed.
Jones Foyer April 13, 2012 at 06:08 PM
whoa, hey, e.e. cummings.
Kristen Lepore (Editor) May 16, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Griffins of Kinsale to open Thursday? You be the judge: http://patch.com/A-tt6L
Patch Reviewer June 02, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Wow, this "pub" is awful. It's an Irish Ghetto Pub. Terrible cheap bar stools and tables with a completely unfinished look (and not in a good way). Looks like they ran out of money and had to open. No pictures on the walls. No air conditioning and absolutely no vibe. I give it a couple of months and this storefront will again be empty. Ouch. This is not what was needed on Mission Street. What a dump.
Mark June 22, 2012 at 06:27 PM
I completely disagree with the June 1 review. I was in there yesterday (6/22), listening to pretty good live music (at 6:30 on a Thursday!), drinking excellent beer poured correctly, and enjoying the large, happy crowd. Friendly servers, too. This is the most fun I've had in my frequent visits to South Pas. In a town that suffers from scarce "vibe", this place actually had some. I'll be back.


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