As “research and development” trips go, this one was a blast.
Evansville entrepreneurs Josh Pietrowski, Scott Schymik, and Alan “A.C.” Braun, who are planning a new business called Patsy Hartigan’s Irish Pub at 205 Main St., went to New York City last week to sample Irish cuisine and also check out some gin bars.
The trio returned home with heads full of ideas and stomachs laden with great food. They visited the Little Ireland neighborhood in Yonkers, New York, as well as McSorley’s Old Ale House, The Dead Rabbit, and Katz’s Delicatessen in New York City.
Other stops were Molly’s Pub & Restaurant Shebeen and Raines Law Room Chelsea.
Pietrowski, the owner of Doc’s Sports Bar on Stringtown Road, says he and his business partners wanted to taste, see, and experience as much as they possibly could.
“It wasn’t just the food, but the aesthetics of the places, what kind of wallpaper was on the walls. Furniture, fixtures — you know, everything about these places,” Pietrowski says. “We wanted to go and get as many good ideas as we could. Not just blatantly steal them! We weren’t in the kitchen asking the chef for the recipe.”
At Patsy Hartigan’s, “We will be brewing our own light and dark (beer), just like McSorely’s Old Hale House,” Pietrowski says. “As well, we’d really like to try and replicate the pastrami and corned beef from Katz’s for some of our dishes.”
Some favorites from the trip were the lamb stew at Molly’s, Dead Rabbit’s Irish coffee, and the Clover Club cocktail at Raines Law Room, plus a full Irish breakfast in Yonkers.
Pietrowski was a fan of Rí Rá, the Irish-themed restaurant on Riverside Drive in Evansville that closed in 2018 after a 12-year run. In fact, he has memorabilia from Rí Rá on a wall at Doc’s. That restaurant’s departure left a void in the city’s dining scene that he hopes to fill.
He and Braun discussed plans several months ago for an Irish pub on Main Street, and Schymik, who runs Sauced and Schymik’s Kitchen at the Haynie’s Corner Arts District, became involved later.
“I’d like to think that I can cook pretty well, but when he mentioned interest in this, we decided I would pretty much run the house bar concept, and he would run the kitchen side of it. It was an instant upgrade over me for sure. It was smart to pull him in,” Pietrowski says.
Patsy Hartigan’s has a Facebook page, which is updating progress at the 205 Main St. property.
As for the time frame, “our hope is to open in November. Definitely by the first of next year,” Pietrowski says. “We’ve got some construction starting April 1. That’s probably going to take about four months, and then we’ll be in August, and then it’ll be time to move everything in.”