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No Irish Goodbye for Patrick O’Flaherty

It’s almost impossible if you are a certain age and watched TV to ignore the charisma, charm and characters’ comparisons between our Washington Street’s The Irish Pub and “Cheers”. “Cheers” is a sitcom featuring a neighborhood bar with a cast of great characters that ran for roughly a decade beginning in 1982 and 1993. The recent closing of The Irish Pub met with many tears and few cheers.

Their departure has been anything but an “Irish Goodbye”. Their very popular pub spot has been on the market for some time but closed its doors for the last time earlier this year. The Izzy family originally rented the building from Paul Jacoby and Mary Moore. Paul comments, “Bringing a “Family Friendly” Pub to Lewisburg was a brilliant idea, AND “NO!!!” TV screens, Loved it :)”

Alaina Hower was a fan, an employee, and a customer from the start. She says, “Patrick and The Irish Pub on Washington Street made our community a better place. A more welcoming place. A home. They will both be missed. The halls of The Pub will definitely be long remembered, and the legacy of Patrick O’Flaherty longer still.”

Pictured above from left: Richard Hefner, Tommy Wiggins, Kevin Burke, Tim Pence, & Patrick O’Flaherty

Another employee, Tommy Wiggins, had this to say, “Who doesn’t love pubs? Bluegrass and old-time shares roots with Irish music. I loved all the music he played. The Irish Pub brought a unique vibe to the town. Irish and New Orleans. It fast became the local’s bar, and was always running fundraisers for many different causes. And then the music. I can’t tell you how many people played on that stage in their 12-year run”.

More from Alaina Hower, “I liked listening to Patrick because he always found a way to engage with his audience. There could be a complete stranger in the bar and Patrick would strike up a conversation from the stage. Near the end I kicked myself for not paying more attention. Every song he played brought a fine mist to my eyes. The crowd roared “No They Never” and clapped jubilantly between verses.”

Christina Entenmann, Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper editor made these comments, “I heard Patrick for the first time in 2008. It was my first time in the Irish Pub and he was playing fun Irish tunes. I was immediately a fan and always looked forward to seeing him I have always enjoyed Irish Music. From his music to the décor and ambiance, Patrick always kept the pub a real authentic Irish Pub. His Celtic tunes were always so easy to listen to.”

Over the years The Irish Pub has been a hub for gatherings including a wedding and many celebrations, big and small. Patrick and his family and staff have supported many good causes in the community.

Christina goes on to say, “The Irish Pub has been a huge supporter of the Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper and the community at large. Following the 2013 Main Street fire in Marlinton (which destroyed 3 buildings) the Pub immediately helped raise funds for those affected with a pancake fundraiser. The pub regularly held fundraisers to support the local community and events such as the world’s shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade (a whole 118 feet), led by Patrick, was always a blast.”

Patrick’s contributions to the community continue. Alaina commented “Most recently, Patrick has been helping me organize a fundraiser on March 10th at Hill and Holler for our friends at The Renaissance Faire who lost their timber frame stable to a fire. Patrick is a great friend, a man dedicated to music and the arts, and a true institution in our community. He will put himself behind a cause he supports and work ceaselessly to see that it succeeds.”

Urban Dictionary defines the Irish goodbye as “leaving quietly out the side door of a party or bar without saying goodbye to anyone”, most likely because you’re too drunk to stay there.  An “Irish goodbye” refers to a person ducking out of a party, social gathering or very bad date without bidding farewell.

See Patrick perform his last shows in Lewisburg at Hill and Holler this March. His show dates are Saturday, 9th 5-9pm at the WV Renaissance Fair Fundraiser (with several other musicians, see AGENDA) on Sunday, 10th, 5-9pm. Saturday, 16th, 2-8pm, and on St. Patrick’s Day which is Sunday the 17th, 2-8pm. Hill and Holler is located at 970 N. Jefferson St. in downtown Lewisburg. Patrick tells us, “I would like to see all the supporters from the Irish Pub show up on any of these nights. St. Patrick’s Day is my last day in town for a while. Thanks for all the support through the years and see you soon. Sláinte!”

– HashtagWV #111. March 2019

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HashtagWV Art & Entertainment is a high-quality print and digital multimedia platform for all things West Virginia and the greater Appalachian region. The editorial focus is local music, unique shopping, the arts, events, theatre, and food and drinks.