Hey, there! Log in / Register

Shuttered Irish bar in Government Center could open in a month with a new name, new menu, but still Irish football on the TV


Update: License transfer approved.

The new owners of the Kinsale Irish Pub at Center Plaza say they're hoping to re-open in four to five weeks with pretty much the same look as before, but under the new name of the Dubliner.

The Boston Licensing Board votes tomorrow whether to approve the sale of the defunct Kinsale's liquor license to the Dubliner, with William McCarthy as its manager.

At a hearing today, Dubliner attorney Andrew Upton said the new owners will "do some cosmetic cleaning and improvement inside, but it's basically going to go in the same direction." He added, "it's still going to be a classic Irish bar."

In a tweet, though, the bar says Upton may have undersold what they're doing:

Our new pub won’t be anything like the last one. We’ve been working at it for 3 months. 2 new bars, new decor, new kitchen, Michelin star chef.

The Kinsale opened in 1998 with an interior that had been carefully "deconstructed" in a bar in Ireland, then shipped to Boston for reconstruction. It closed at the height of the early pandemic in 2020.

One change would come if the board agrees to a request to let the Dubliner open at 7 a.m. instead of 8 a.m. Upton said this is to let patrons catch the start of "important Irish football games." He acknowledged that state liquor laws bar the sale of alcoholic drinks before 8 a.m., so the bar would open its doors for matches without liquor for the first hour.


Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!


They are bringing in a Michelin level chef. That's not really spuds and bacon.


Also, the 7AM opening is really geared towards the Premier League crowd owing that some games kick off at 1230 London Time. The Kinsale was the local outpost for Tottenham fans. You had fans of a team with a historically Jewish (and now Korean too owing to Son) fan base in an Irish bar owned by an Armenian watching an English game. True America.

Irish games (Irish Football and the greatest sport in the world - Hurling) usually start at 1 or 2 local time, so 8 or 9 AM Boston time for most of the year.

Voting closed 30

working in Michelin-starred restaurants Mc Gee brings to his menu here. He's doing it as part of a local restaurant group (the people behind Emmet’s, Carrie Nation, Roxanne’s and Scholars) that serves okay but bog-standard American food (though the Emmet's menu has slightly more of an Irish-American lilt). They're saloon-keepers, not developers of indie chef-driven restaurants.

It really would be something to have an Irish-themed pub here that serves that kind of food that has turned Dublin and London, once culinary wastelands, into food-geek tourist destinations. But I kinda doubt he'll be doing hay-roasted celeraic or Anjou pigeon, $40 and $50 dishes typical of his last stop at a fine-dining temple (Corrigan's Mayfair in London). Lucky for him, the bar for Irish pub food is limbo-pole low in Boston. The proof of the pudding will be in the eating.

Voting closed 25

FWIW, anyone I've ever known to eat at Emmet's (myself included) concluded that that particular pub's pub fare was of much higher quality than other American Irish pub fare.

Voting closed 18

drank at Emmet's a few times. Respectable but not memorable. Never had it, as it's only on their brunch menu, but their full Irish breakfast looks legit.

Voting closed 15

I've updated the post a bit. On Twitter, the bar took me to task for quoting their own lawyer at the hearing rather than reading their press releases (which they didn't send me, but, eh, my inbox is cluttered enough).

So, yeah, it won't just be the Kinsale with a new name.

Oh, and the board approved the license transfer.

Voting closed 11

the road to Cork.

Voting closed 17

The road to West Cork starts there.

Voting closed 13