by Molly Reitter

So a Frenchman and a Greek walk into a bar.



No, make that a pub. Actually, an Irish pub. But not just any old Irish pub. This one was planned and created in Ireland with the materials shipped from Erin herself. The co-owners Chris Boukedes, our Greek, and John Bisson, our Frenchman, are good with a joke, but their business of food and fun is very serious indeed.

Bisson has been a pilot with USAir since 1986.

“He taught the Wright Brothers how to fly,” jokes Boukedes.

In 2002, after taking two Publican classes with Guinness and working with the Irish Pub Company in Ireland, his dream was realized.

“They sent over all the materials and three Irish guys to help with my contractor,” Bisson said. “So the pub is really authentic.”

In 2005, Boukedes decided to buy in. He runs his catering business, Bouk Catering, out of the restaurant. The upstairs room can hold private parties and turns into a Comedy Zone outlet every Tuesday night. But the heart of the place is the cozy restaurant on the main floor.

“You can feel the soul of the place the moment you walk in the door,” Boukedes said.

And, it’s true. The place has a unique feel that is rare in an Irish-American pub. There is a snug, a small room often found in British and Irish pubs, off the main room, with a stone covered fireplace and a friendship table. The friendship table is also standard in many UK pubs; it is a large table in the middle of the main room where strangers and friends alike can sit to drink or nosh. “We’ve had at least three marriages that stem from that friendship table,” said Boukedes. The floor around that table is real Liscannor stone from Ireland. You can see the patterns made from fossilized worms.

The hostess stand is the pulpit from Bisson’s childhood church in Rhode Island.

Seated at a table on a stormy night, the fireplace gives off warming heat and glow to the cozy, dim room. Patrons are seated at the bar, the friendship table and around the restaurant. The homemade soft pretzel is served with sweet potato mustard and cheese sauce with a flourish from Executive Chef Steve Jordan. The food at the restaurant is a fusion of Irish food and American dishes with a dash of Southern flair. Jordan trained at Johnson & Wales  University and also oversees the catering company and private party menus. The menu contains favorites such as fish and chips and banger and mash along with jerk chicken and sesame seared salmon. The majority of items are homemade, for example, the fries are hand cut from real potatoes for every order.

A Galway hooker is a traditional fishing boat used in the Galway Bay, off the west coast of Ireland. The pub has a wealth of Irish boating history and artwork in every nook and cranny. There are two real Irish currachs, boats with wooden frames, over which leather is stretched, hanging above diner’s heads. A map of Ireland, painted by an Irishman, seems to float on the ceiling over the bar and friendship table. Posters and plaques and pieces of history abound, giving the place an authentic, vintage feel. Customers share the love of the atmosphere.

“It’s just a welcoming, comfortable place to hang out with friends by the old fireplace to watch a game or just catch up and relax,” regular diner Dan Schubert said.

But the real heart of the restaurant is not on the walls or the ceiling or the floor, it comes from the two owners. They compliment each other both literally and figuratively; the respect and love is obvious. It flows like the Galway Bay into every inch of the pub. “It’s just the best possible business partnership,” said Boukedes. “And we have a lot of fun too.”