An Irish flag outside a downtown corner storefront means there will be one definite thing flowing freely inside.
“We’re going to have probably the best Guinness on the street,” said Elaine Sheridan D’Arcy, owner of the new O’Donovans Irish Pub.
The pub is scheduled to open Friday at the corner of 10th and Broad streets and will offer traditional Irish dishes, such as corned beef and cabbage and fish and chips, but the sole focus will be on maintaining an authentic pub ambiance, D’Arcy said.
“As far as I’m concerned, it’s a very much needed niche in this community,” she said. “I think Augusta is now opening up to more cultures.”
D’Arcy, whose parents were both immigrants from Dublin, went back to Ireland, herself, for several years before putting down roots in Florida, where she ran a pub in Florida for eight years.
She moved to Augusta in November to be close to her daughter, who told her about what city leaders envisioned for downtown.
“By hearing what they wanted to do, I thought it would be good to get in on the ground floor,” she said. “I think they have a vision, and I have a vision and I think they will collide.”
The space at 1002 Broad St. that D’Arcy is leasing had been vacant since last summer when a Greek restaurant, Eros Bistro, abruptly closed after about a year in business.
D’Arcy said the location in the middle of downtown’s nightlife strip is ideal for a pub. The restaurant side of the business will be open for lunch and dinner. At the bar, there will be nearly a dozen beers on tap as well as high-end whiskeys, rums and other liquor, she said.
D’Arcy eventually expects to bring in traditional Irish music and plans to keep the pub as pure to Ireland’s culture as possible.
O’Donovans will open with about 20 employees. In anticipation of large crowds on St. Patrick’s Day, less than two weeks away, D’Arcy said the pub will likely offer a limited menu and cash bar that day. The holiday attracts droves of residents downtown who watch a parade that winds down Broad Street and participate in other festivities throughout the day.
“St. Patrick’s Day is going to be an absolute madhouse,” she said.