Bunratty Tavern Projected to Open in Reading in May

The liquor license for the pub was passed at Tuesday's selectmen meeting.

Eilish Havey and her husband Jim will open the Bunratty Tavern in Reading this year. The liquor license for the pub was passed at Tuesday night's selectmen meeting.

The tavern will open at 622 Main Street in the M.F. Charles Building and will accommodate 194 people. The traditional Irish pub will have a full bar and serve "home cooked comfort food," Havey said. All of their meat will be cooked on site and they will have roast beef dinners on the weekends. They will feature live music and an outdoor dining area for warmer months, she said. 

Havey, originally from Ireland and now a North Reading resident, has experience in the restaurant business and has been the controller of a restaurant group in Boston for 19 years, she told Patch. 

When asked when they would open for business, Havey said May, "and that is a very rough guess at this point."

Sprinklers are currently being installed inside the M.F. Charles building, which should take about a month, according to Havey. After those are in place the space will be turned over to Havey and her contractor can begin work on the tavern.

Havey hopes that everything goes smoothly so she can open for the summer and customers can enjoy the outdoor patio.

Selectman Ben Tafoya is looking forward to the tavern opening and thinks their approach as an Irish tavern is unique and different to other options in town.

"I'm very excited about the opportunity to get another restaurant in the downtown core. I think it's terrific in that it will bring more folks into the downtown core, which will help all of the other businesses there," he said. 

M January 10, 2013 at 02:24 PM
I welcome it, too, but I do question how unique and different it will be to, say....Grumpy Doyle's that is a few hundred feet away. Shall we assume that Orange Leaf froyo is no longer coming to this spot? Personally, am happy with Zinga & see no need for another froyo downtown. I keep saying it, but Reading needs something other than Italian/Pizza, Chinese, generic Pub Food, & Sub Shops, namely, either a decent Tex/Mex spot (Chili's doesn't count) or something Greek/Middle Eastern/Indian (someplace with decent kebabs, at least). Just my opinion. In any event, new restaurants downtown are always welcome.
Ty Aard January 10, 2013 at 02:57 PM
Great to see another restaurant/bar coming to Reading center. I am looking forward to having a few beers outside with friends and family this summer. Hopefully this will make Grumpy Doyle's step up its game, they have gone down hill slightly since their opening. M, I agree with you on the Greek/Middle Eastern/Indian food needed to come to Reading. Hopefully Bunratty's will be a catalyst to other restaurant entrepreneurs to bring their business to Reading.
Em January 10, 2013 at 03:55 PM
I just hope that the noise level is acceptable. The other newer restarurant/bars are so noisy, it is hard to hear your self think. The new Fish place in North Reading is so noisy, after our first visit we said, nope back to Lobster Claw. The other North Reading Taven, have heard many folks will not attend. We tried and again, it was in and right out.
Marina Salenikas January 10, 2013 at 05:30 PM
I couldn't agree more with the above messages. Really another Irish Pub type of restaurant just seconds away from Grumpy Doyle's. How about some diversity in cuisines. Don't know who made that decision.
Anthony Martinez January 10, 2013 at 06:55 PM
I would dig some Soul Food! Think outside the box!
Shannon January 10, 2013 at 07:52 PM
I agree with the comments above too. I don't see another pub style restaurant as necessary so close to Grumpy Doyle's. But I disagree with Ty. I do not think Grumpy Doyle's has gone downhill. And I think that many people don't realize how great of a partner Grumpy Doyle's is. They have worked with Girl Scouta, sponsored the band, drama club and many other groups in Reading.
James Deen January 10, 2013 at 08:12 PM
Shannon, Unfortunately, I have to agree with Ty. Grumpy Doyle's in my opinion sucks now. The entire atmosphere in the restaurant is terrible, and the bar setup is one of the worst I have ever seen. I could honestly care less about how great of a partner Grumpy Doyle's has been.
P. Pseudonym January 10, 2013 at 09:00 PM
As long as they continue to make shepherd's pie and that fabulous berry-and-goat-cheese salad, I'll be Grumpy's biggest fan. Mmmmmmmmmmm!
Dan January 10, 2013 at 10:10 PM
How about Bangkok Spice? I don't believe that falls into any of your aforementioned categories.
Rob January 10, 2013 at 10:59 PM
It's funny that people don't want this place because we have another Irish place. And that it was the towns decision. If it's a bad idea, then they will not succeed. Then you can open your middle eastern restaurant, as long as the powers that be say is ok. Personally, I'm ok with any business owner, especially a small business owner taking a risk and doing what they want, and I hope they succeed.
M January 11, 2013 at 12:24 AM
It's not that we have another Irish place, it's that we have another Irish place less than a block away. Then again, we have two competing supermarkets next door to each other....and both are surviving even though the prices of one are easily 20-40% less than the other. What I see is that downtown seems to favor sit-down restaurants that seem to be as much bar as restaurant. Generally, middle eastern/Indian/Greek restaurants are not known for their bars/drinks.
Stephen January 11, 2013 at 02:52 AM
"Don't know who made that decision." -- Marina Um. that would have been the proprietors of Bunratty Tavern! They apparently thing they have something different to offer that the other existing establishments in the neighborhood.
Stephen January 11, 2013 at 02:53 AM
... think they...
Diane Alexander January 11, 2013 at 02:19 PM
Any business that opens in Reading has to be considered a miracle of victory! Congratulations to Bunratty's for overcoming the hurdles! Unfortunately, the town of Reading has many unrealistic obstacles a business owner must overcome to open a business. Reading lags behind it's peers (i.e. North Andover, Melrose, and Winchester) in having a thriving downtown due to the challenges a businessperson must face, turning off many prospects in its wake. I am hopeful, however that times are changing as we have seen some progress in the last three years.
Marty Nichols January 11, 2013 at 10:04 PM
Reading Selectmen messed up with giving the okay for Stop and Shop and Market Basket to build right beside each other..Now Market Basket has to move and the town is being sued...guess they havent learned their lesson....and WHY does Reading need so many restaurants all of a sudden??? Used to be you had a hard time buying alcohol...now there's a bar on every corner, And where are all these dines supposed to park? It's hard enough as t is...I bet the cops in town are busier too...just sayin..
Eilish Havey January 12, 2013 at 02:38 AM
We appreciate all the comments made and respect all of them, all we ask is that people give us a chance to show that we can be a good addition to downtown Reading. We have waited and worked on this project for the past 2 years so please give us a chance to prove that we want to become part of the community, not only run a business. I know from the above comments and comments from the last time the Patch ran an article on our business that some people would prefer to have something different come to town, but as it stands, it's just us trying to open a family business in a town that we really want to be part of. Again, I ask that you keep an open mind and welcome us, just as you would welcome another concept that opens in a location that has been vacant for many years. When we do eventually open we would love that all our visitors give us feed back and let us know how you feel we are doing and please tell us how we can improve but until then please just wish us well. We are looking forward to becoming part of Downtown Reading. Eilish & Jim Bunratty Tavern
Mike Cashins January 12, 2013 at 07:34 PM
I think it will be a great addition to Reading Center. Another venue to liven the main corridor. Not sure why people are concerned about another Irish place. We have two burger joints next to each other, McDonald's and Burger King. Give it a Chance, I'm sure it is not going to be a carbon copy of Grumpy Doyle's.
Charles Gray January 13, 2013 at 12:15 PM
I agree with Diane Alexander, with all the hassles local town goverment puts on local business, espically ones that have been here for years, employing, local residents and family members, TOWN MANGER PETER H, HAS NO REGARD for small business owners , only for what benifites his personal agenda, LOW BED WILLY
Bill Kuechly January 13, 2013 at 03:51 PM
Well Charles thankfully Petey is going away and one of his partners in crime Ricky soon as well. Hopefully we get some right minded people in their place.
David Mancuso January 13, 2013 at 03:54 PM
Eilish and Jim... On behalf of many of the residents and businesses who participate in Making Reading Better, welcome. We are thrilled to have you and your business join our community.
Eilish Havey January 14, 2013 at 01:39 AM
Thank you David
Vin Colella January 14, 2013 at 03:38 PM
Hi Eilish, Please contact me regarding entertainment @ Bunratty's. I am with a local rock acoustic duo called AHT (Acoustic Hot Tub) we'd be a great for you venue. http://www.acoustichottub.com thanks! Vin
Emily M January 14, 2013 at 03:45 PM
Grumpy Doyle's was never good. Poor service and terrible food.
Emily M January 14, 2013 at 03:47 PM
btw, does anyone know if it's a done deal that Portland Pie is coming to 30 Haven? Is it happening? No development seems to be happening in that downstairs section.
George February 22, 2013 at 04:33 PM
Eilish, Best of luck with your new enterpriseand I am sure most Reading people will give you a warm welcome. Don't worry about the negative comments. There is a small contingent of naysayers for every project that comes around. Good Luck!
Frank Keane May 09, 2013 at 06:01 PM
well. some five months have passed and there is not any news. For those who are concerned about 2 Irish Pub/Restaurants, when Bunratty opens there will still be only one true Irish Pub in town,. For anyone who has ever been to an Irish Pub, they would never mistake Grumpy Doyle's for one. It is a sports bar with decent pub food. Check out their daily event updates, there has not been an Irish anything in a year, it is all Celtics, Bruins, Red Sox and Patriots. The is not a charming "snug" to hold a conversation, no Irish Entertainment, nothing to absorb the noise. If would be simple to change to a sports bar, all they would need to do is take down the one Guiness sign. THis is not to say they are not a good fit for the town nor a good partner for the town, it is more to say, call them a Sports bar


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