Belfast Gastropub is almost ready to give a “true Irish welcome” to the Lindenhurst community.
Owner Dave Crowe said if everything goes to plan, he is aiming to open up his new pub at 101-105 North Wellwood Ave. by the end of the month.
Crowe isn’t no rookie in the Irish pub game.
He established Flanagan’s in Ronkonkoma, previously owned The Irish Coffee Pub in Smithtown (now closed), and co-owned Lily Flanagan’s in Islip, among other locations.
His team from Flanagan’s recently launched Harp and Hound in Islip, in the former Lily Flanagan’s location.
For the past few weeks, Crowe said he has been finalizing every detail to make sure every aspect of the pub has that special, Irish touch.
Crowe said he is making sure everything is “top-shelf” — from the food and drinks he sells, to even the notable wooden sign he hopes customers will admire when they walk in.
The Belfast sign was created by Crowe and Art Signs, located at 407 Lexington Ave. in West Babylon.
Crowe’s vision for the piece was to show his appreciation for the city.
It is completely made out of wood with the “B” engraved with floral details. The “A” in Belfast is replaced with an image of a Celtic harp — a symbol of Irish pride.
“It’s personal for me,” he said.
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The owner said Irish symbols and touches of Celtic pride will be scattered all over the restaurant.
This includes a symbol of Crowe’s beginnings of his journey into the restaurant business: a single cash register.
However, it is not just any old cash register — it has survived two World Wars and an explosion in a pub in Belfast, Ireland.
A few years ago, Crowe had the register revamped and it serves as a reminder of his beginnings and the significance of the Irish city.
“Belfast is a fine city, and the name is important to me,” he said. “I want people to open their eyes and scratch their head and go, ‘Wow, someone’s naming their pub Belfast’ because it has a history.”
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Anne-Marie Mansueto, the catering manager of Belfast, and chef James Tomlinson said they are both excited to open the pub and create a “hometown feel” for locals.
Mansueto describes Belfast Gastropub as having an old-world Irish flair with a modern twist.
The front half of the restaurant will be the hostess stand and waiting area, while the middle half will have pub-style tables that seat around 20 people or less at COVID-compliant capacity.
The staple of the restaurant’s interior gathering room is the 34-foot mahogany bar, which will feature some TVs and a 16-tap beer selection.
The bar will be run by Belfast’s bartender, Jeff, who is a local Marine.
Right across from the Lindenhurst train station, along West Hoffman Ave., is the restaurant’s outdoor dining area, which will have around 58 seats with heaters.
Mansueto said the town helped out by extending the sidewalk to create a socially-distanced outdoor area where patrons can feel comfortable and spaced out while eating.
The large catering room can hold 50 to 70 people and has a separate bathroom area from the main dining area.
The catering hall and main dining area are separated by glass partitions both engraved with Irish symbols, such as the Claddagh, which is two hands holding a crowned heart symbolizing friendship and love.
Mansueto said the catering hall will be used for all kinds of occasions — like birthday parties, baby showers, bridal showers, retirement parties, fundraisers, and bereavements.
For bereavements, Mansueto said the Belfast team plans on meeting with local funeral homes to discuss how they can offer their catering services to those going through a difficult time.
The space also features an intimate nook in the corner of the room, called “The Village Snug,” which can hold up to six people.
Mansueto said she visions town meetings, official gatherings, even engagements, happening in the space.
During catering events, the spot will be transformed into a private bar.
Tomlinson, who has worked in the restaurant business for 40 years, said the menu will definitely include Irish classics, like shepherds pie and corned beef and cabbage.
Belfast will also serve light appetizers, nine different types of sandwiches, and other affordable meals that are nice-sized portions, Tomlinson said.
In the summertime, the menu will feature seafood items like toasted lobster rolls, which the chef thinks will please the boating community in the area.
Some items will also be named after family and friends who frequent the restaurant, and Tomlinson said he plans on adding the same personalization to those who choose to host an event at Belfast.
The team at Belfast Gastropub wants its customers to feel like celebrities when they walk in and they plan on honoring people in the town.
Mansueto, who is a Lindenhurst local and friend of Crowe’s for over 30 years, said she feels people will enjoy the local, hometown feel of Belfast and she is excited to help in planning future parties.
“People forgot about the simplicity of just living every day and enjoying themselves,” Mansueto said. “I want it to be the place where people say ‘let’s go to Belfast and watch the game,’ or ‘let’s go grab something to eat.'”
Crowe is about forming relationships within the communities where his restaurants reside, and in Lindenhurst, he has already gone door-to-door to meet with other shop owners and invite them over for a complimentary Irish coffee once Belfast opens.
Tomlinson and Mansueto can attest to Crowe’s kind nature and ability to form personal relationships with people, which Mansueto describes as “a gift.”
The Belfast team hopes to give back to the community in some way and be the go-to place for those in the Lindenhurst neighborhood who have lived in the neighborhood for decades.
“I want it to be the second Cheers,” Tomlinson said.
Below are photos of the progress of Belfast Gastropub so far.
Continue to follow GreaterBabylon for an updated story on the restaurant’s grand opening later this month.
Top: Dave Crowe’s cash register that survived two World Wars and an explosion in Belfast, Ireland.