New bar hopes to fill niche
FAIRFIELD — The owners of a new cocktail lounge are looking to be the new hot spot for people looking to get drinks on their nights out.
Amy O’Shea and her husband, Billy, own J.B. Percival Co., a bar now in its third week of business. Amy O’Shea said she saw a need in the community for a place to get drinks and light appetizers before or after dinner or a show.
“At a lot of the restaurants in town, the bars would be filled up with people eating,” said O’Shea. “There wasn’t room to just stop by for a drink. Also, a lot of the bars in town close really early.”
Located at 63 Unquowa Road on Donnelly Walk, the restaurant is short distance away from the Sacred Heart University Theater and the Fairfield Theater company as well as the train station. O’Shea said she wanted a location downtown that was off the beaten path but still at the center of everything.
O’Shea said the bar is open Tuesday through Sunday from 4 p.m. until patrons start leaving or they decide to close.
The bar is unique in that its aesthetic is reminiscent of the manufacturing heritage Connecticut was once know for. It occupies an old factory building and that is why the name pays homage to one of the building's former occupants.
“I researched the history of the building at the Fairfield Museum,” said O’Shea. “(I) discovered that one of the factories that was on this site in the 1920s was J.B. Percival Company.”
O’Shea said the only thing she was able to find out about the company was that they made novelty bags. J.B. Percival Co. is decorated in salvaged light fixtures from Connecticut factories and the floors and exposed ceilings are original to the building. Hanging on the walls are illuminated photos from a now defunct manufacturer in Bridgeport.
“We have prints in the hallways which are lithographs from 1934 of Bridgeport Brass,” said O’Shea. “The kitchen door is from an old factory. The bar tops are old bowling alleys. So I thought it would be nice to make this place a celebration of Connecticut's manufacturing history. So we incorporated whatever we could into the decor.”
In addition to their full service bar, the lounge has a light bites menu with items like charcuterie and cheese boards, hummus and pâté. O’Shea said she thinks the business is unique to the area.
“We’re not a dinner destination,” said O’Shea. “But we are a great stop along your evening.”