Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) Southern Vision Realty announced yesterday that they have finalized a deal to bring an authentic Irish Pub to Main Street in Lexington. Chris Farley, an agent for Southern Vision, said that he helped facilitate the lease of a 3300-sq. ft. restaurant and bar space at 131 E. Main Street. That’s within a short stroll of South Lake Drive and the historic Lexington County Courthouse in one direction, or South Church Street, and the new award-winning Icehouse Amphitheater that was developed by the town in partnership with other government entities.
O’Hara’s Public House will bring another local hot spot for both citizens and guests of the area. Lexington’s Main Street, which is currently bubbling with new growth and revitalization, is already home to the offices of the Lexington County Blowfish, McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates, and several other professional offices, and small businesses.
This business is being opened by long-time Lexington residents Arlen and Rebecca Wingard and Matt and Michele O’Hara. The O’Hara’s and Wingards met through their sons who played soccer together in Lexington over many years. Their growing friendship led to a shared interest in bringing something special to the Town of Lexington. Matt is the only one of the four that will be involved in daily operations at the restaurant, and he will serve as its General Manager.
O’Hara’s will be an authentic Irish Public House featuring all things Irish from Draft Guinness to bangers and mash; sausages and potatoes for those who don’t speak the slang. It will also offer what the developing partners refers to as Regional American Comfort Food. Those are foods from across the nation that may not be known here, but are immensely popular in other portions of our country. They’re the types of foods that you may have seen on popular food and travel television programs like Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, or Michael Symon’s Burgers, Brews & Que’.
Matt O’Hara said that he’s travelled and worked across the nation and there are iconic dishes in most American cities that he’s excited about bringing to Lexington. One he feels will be a best seller he plans to call “The Steelworker.” It’s a Pittsburgh favorite; a whole meal between two pieces of bread. You’ll get options like quality beef burger patties, but it will also be piled high with choices like coleslaw, tomatoes, and thinly sliced pastrami, ham, or turkey. Then, a huge handful of French fries is piled on the sandwich too. This sandwich was originally invented in the Pittsburgh area as a meal for busy and bulky steel workers and truck drivers that had little time, but a big appetite; something they could hold in one hand and eat while they worked!
Another meal that O’Hara expects to be a big hit is the famous Cincinnati chili. Cincinnati chili is usually an all-beef chili with no beans while it’s made. Kidney beans, like a selection of other add-on toppings, are piled atop the chili after it’s plated. Other popular additions are chopped onions, and it simply wouldn’t be complete without a mountain of thinly grated cheese heaped on top! It’s delicious, but not necessarily known in the south right now; O’Hara plans to change that.
Lexington’s Mayor Steve MacDougall said, “Man I can’t wait for some authentic shepard's pie and other authentic Irish fare. This is an exciting time for Lexington, and especially the Main Street corridor!” MacDougall said that right now, five restaurants are in the process of going through the permitting process for that area. As the town grows, it will continue becoming a hub for good food, arts, entertainment, and a quality of life that’s unrivaled.
The partners say that in addition to the dining room and pub spaces inside O’Hara’s, the restaurant will feature roughly 1,000 sq. feet of outdoor space on a deck. This will be located at the rear of the building directly across Maiden Lane from Lexington’s Town Hall, about 100 yards from the Icehouse Amphitheatre.
They are working toward an opening in early 2018, just in time for the annual downtown Lexington St Patrick’s Day parade.Until then, O’Hara and company have crews working to gut the building and turning it into a state-of-the-art pub with the character and charm of a place that’s been here forever.
For more information on the progress of O’Hara’s, follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/oharasph, on Twitter and Instagram @oharasph, or by going to their website at www.oharas-public-house.com.