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