Belfast Gastropub has officially served up its first patrons in Lindenhurst Village.
That’s because the Irish pub, which has been in the works since last year, held a soft opening on Friday. And, according to the owners, the pub will open full-time starting at some point this weekend.
The gastropub, located at the old Villa Gaia location at 101 N. Wellwood Ave., is the latest business venture for Dave Crowe. He’s a veteran in this game having established Flanagan’s in Ronkonkoma, previously owned The Irish Coffee Pub in Smithtown (now closed), and co-owned Lily’s Flanagan’s in Islip, among other locations.
Since the beginning of its construction last year, Crowe has put his heart and soul into his latest project — finalizing every detail to make sure the pub has that special, Irish touch.
One piece of décor one sees upon entering the restaurant is a painting by local artist Tess Parker that features symbols of the four providences of Ireland: Leinster, Ulster, Munster, and Connaught.
Belfast, Ireland has a troubled history, but Crowe hopes his pub will bring people together and unite Irish Long Islanders.
“Whether you’re from Northern Ireland, Southern Ireland, East or West, doesn’t matter,” Crowe said. “What’s in the past is in the past.”
Inclusivity is shown in other ways, Crowe said, like the restaurant’s gender-neutral restrooms, accessibility, and COVID-19 safety protocols put in place.
Irish symbols and touches of Celtic pride are 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. It now sits on top of a fireplace, encased in glass for patrons to admire.
There’s the “Shannon Room,” which can hold 50 to 70 people and has a separate bathroom area from the main dining area.
The front half of the restaurant will be the hostess stand and waiting area, while the gathering room 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.
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 under an awning.
Fourteen appetizers and dozens of lunch and dinner entrées are included in the menu, such as Irish delicacies like shepherd’s pie and corn beef and cabbage, a long list of signature burgers, sandwiches, wings (your way), and much more.
There’s a kids menu and Crowe said a special Irish treat is rewarded to children at the end of their meal who finish their vegetables.
Everything in Belfast Gastropub means something, Crowe said, and he not only shows his pride for his Irish heritage, but for his family as well.
While his wife and two children are overseas in Ireland, he honors them with a gold Sacagawea coin embedded in the bar top.
His wife is Cherokee, his children as well, and when he gets homesick, he can look at the coin and be reminded that all the heart he put into his pub is for them.
Crowe expressed his gratitude for another instrumental person in his life — his late mother Lily Flanagan — with an engraving that reads “Thank you, Mam.”
“When I was a boy, I was very, very ill and almost died, and my mother just cared for me and I’ll never forget,” he said, tearing up. “That’s why all the bars are called Lily Flanagan’s; I’ve always included her name in every business I ever owned, and this just means a lot to me.”
Read GreaterBabylon’s previous coverage below for more about the story behind Belfast Gastropub and Crowe’s journey to opening his latest restaurant in Lindenhurst.
Here are some photos of what patrons can expect when visiting Belfast Gastropub located at 101 North Wellwood Ave. in Lindenhurst this weekend.
Top: The Belfast Gastro Pub bar, open for business this weekend.