Pub opens doors in Opelika


Despite celebrating the opening of Irish Bred Pub only three days ago, co-owner Joseph Garofalo already has high hopes for the business.

"My goal is to be here for 100 years," Garofalo said.

Garofalo's overall message is one of giving back to the community.

"So the sign of a good job in this economy is being able to hire over 50 people to work here," he said. "I feel great that I'm giving people jobs."

The pub, located in downtown Opelika, held its grand opening Monday night with food, drinks and a poker tournament.

"We're going to do poker on Mondays," Garofalo said. "It's free to enter, and we'll be giving out prizes weekly."

The pub will be offering entertainment most nights, including live music, Irish dancing, trivia and card games.

"There will very often be something going on out here," said Matt Catchpole, waiter and event staff. "They're not trying to cut anybody out. This is going to be open to everybody."

Garofalo's wish is that the pub will be a haven for all kinds of people.

"Pub stands for public house," Garofalo said. "If you go to Ireland or England, every town has a pub, which is like a meeting place. We hope to draw everyone--young people, old people."

Garofalo is confident the pub will contribute to Opelika's downtown scene.

"At first I saw this quiet little town," Garofalo said, "so I figured we'd become an anchor and revitalize this little town, Opelika is a beautiful town; I get a good vibe here."

According to Garofalo, the secret to a good business is to cater to the people.

"A successful pub takes on the flavor of the neighborhood by serving good food at good prices," he said.

Jordan Clark, sophomore in sports broadcasting at Southern Union, was impressed with the food after attending the pub's opening.

"The food was good," Clark said. "We had teriyaki chicken wings--it was really good. And we had cheese dip. That was some of the best cheese dip I ever had."

The menu includes predictable fare, such as salads and sandwiches, as well as more traditional Irish dishes, such as shepherd's pie, Irish stew and fish and chips.

"We did free food on Saturday," Catchpole said, "and the reaction was just incredible from everyone tasting the food."

The pub hosted an invitation-only event Saturday prior to its Monday opening. According to Garofalo, business started off well before it had even officially begun.

"We had a family and friends event, which turned into like 300 people coming afterward," Garofalo said.

Clark said she would recommend the pub, especially to couples.

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