Food Service & Agriculture, Real Estate, and Retail

Irish pub owner sells landmark

March 14, 2014
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Irish pub owner sells landmark
Fenian’s Pub in Conklin has spread Irish cheer since 1987. Photo by Mike Nichols

An old Irish pub that makes the Irish proud to be Irish — and everyone else feel Irish — is for sale. 

Fenian’s Pub in Conklin has been a destination in the heart of the Dutch-German community for anyone in the region looking for good Irish fun, at 19683 Main St.

The walls are covered with Irish flags, Irish clan emblems, Irish beers and Irish proverbs.

The pub, owned and managed by Irish-American Terry Reagan, plays monthly host to Irish bands and singers and hosts an Irish sing-along every third Friday of the month.

Moving on

But now the ballad of Fenian’s might have reached its final verse. Reagan, who runs the bar with his wife, Mary Ann, is ready to retire and has put his beloved pub up for sale.

“Seventy years of being around this world made me want to sell,” Reagan said. “It’s just the right time. I’ve had it for 26 years.

“If we sell to somebody who wants to maintain the Irish heritage, that’d be great, and it’d give my patrons a place to go. If it was a neighborhood bar, it wouldn’t have that draw.”

The building, which was a local pub before Reagan took ownership in 1987, is about 8,000 square feet, including an upstairs and downstairs space, he said.

Reagan said that anyone wishing to make an offer on his property can call him at (616) 899-2640.

Reagan expects the property to sell soon, meaning this St. Patrick’s Day may be one of the last big celebrations at Fenian’s Pub, as well as its last Wearing of the Green parade for the holiday.

The parade, which can draw about 2,500 people, never lasts long though, because many of the paradegoers end up coming into Fenian’s a few minutes later, Reagan said.

He added it will likely be the last parade Fenian’s is associated with.

Local tradition

Reagan said he’ll miss his patrons the most and the nights singing Irish ballads and drinking songs with them, as they raise foaming glasses in celebration of their Irish heritage.

Locals and patrons have expressed sadness over Reagan’s retirement.

On Friday sing-alongs, the pub always falls reverently silent whenever Reagan begins to sing “The Auld Triangle.”

His voice carries the hushed room without instruments backing him. The crowd joins in on the chorus, but the rest of the song belongs to Reagan alone.

In the hearts of Fenian’s regulars, it probably always will. 

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