Golfers can get their Irish up at new Smith Richardson concession
Updated 9:43 am, Sunday, April 3, 2011
Scotland may be the motherland for golfers, but here in Fairfield, two business partners are adding an Irish accent to the game.
Kieran McAlinden and Michael Brennan have opened a second Brennan's Shebeen at the town's H. Smith Richardson Golf Course. The first Shebeen -- which roughly equates to "speak easy" in the Irish language -- is in Bridgeport's Black Rock business district.
"We play golf here regularly," McAlinden said. "We wanted somewhere nice to come to."
Many of the features at the original Brennan's Shebeen can be found at the golf course spin-off -- dark wood ceiling beams, a fireplace, a gleaming bar and free-form wooden tables and stools fashioned from the trunks of trees.
More InformationBrennan's Shebeen H.Smith Richardson Golf Course 2425 Morehouse Highway 203-256-1135
"We have our own little theme," McAlinden said. "It's just a nice little comfort zone."
A trio of golfers seated in the "liar's corner" on a recent morning agreed.
"He's just put everything in a whole new perspective," said Bob Bennett. "Everybody that comes in here is awed."
Smith Richardson Men's Club President Charles Filip was quick to compliment McAlinden's skills at running a restaurant, if not his golfing acumen. "He's a lousy golfer, but a great proprietor," Filip said.
McAlinden takes the good-natured ribbing in stride, and is eager to show off the restaurant, pointing out the deer's head above the mantle, and the take-out window with a proper patio. The renovations took about two and a half months over the winter and Brennan's was ready to open when the course did on March 17.
Unlike the Bridgeport saloon, the Fairfield location is open early, offering breakfasts of omelets, Irish sausage, black-and-white pudding and egg-and-cheese sandwiches. "Breakfast starts about 6:15 a.m.," McAlinden said. "At the height of summer, it will be more like 5 a.m."
The menu for lunch and dinner ranges from appetizers like macaroni-and-cheese bites to salads, sandwiches, burgers and dogs, as well as steak and shepherd's pie. "We have more entrees here for dinner," McAlinden said and they've already been lined up to cater quite a few private parties. Brunch is also offered Saturdays and Sundays and the restaurant is not just limited to golfers; it's open to the public as well.
"We get all kinds of people here up, all different ages," he said. "We have a lot of parties booked and we cater all kinds of events." The restaurant at Smith Richardson can seat 130 people.
Every kind of sporting event can be watched on the televisions posted around the restaurant -- there will even be one out on the patio.
All in all, McAlinden said the partners are happy they decided to put in a bid to run the restaurant. They have a two-year contract and will pay the town $35,000 per year. There are also three additional one-year options. There was only one other bidder on the concession, Michael Duke, who previously ran Andrew's Cafe at the site.
"People come in here and they're amazed by the transformation," McAlinden said.