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Pub owners add impetus to city’s Old Main Street

Years ago on a visit to Ireland, we stopped in a town in County Kerry.

I want to say Killorglin. Maybe Kenmare. Or was it Cahirciveen?

Anyway, a local we met said one of the town’s claims to fame was it had more pubs per block than any other town in Ireland.

That’s saying something.

I suppose Thomas Stynes, a Dubliner and Bradenton pub owner, can relate to that Irish idiosyncrasy.

He’s the proprietor not only of Rasher Tierney’s, down on 14th Street West, but of the new Irish pub destined for downtown Bradenton, thanks to the City Council’s approval.

It will be fifth bar on Old Main Street.

A quantity that has its critics.

“Old Bar Street,” Sam Hershfeld, a member of Realize Bradenton’s board of directors, called it.

Councilmember Marianne Barnebey professed concern about the direction of downtown development.

The folks at Westminster Courtyard objected, too.

So did First Baptist Church of Bradenton Administrator Russ Kitching.

An abundance of bargoers, they complained, pose a threat to the safety of downtown after nightfall.

Funny, I’ve enjoyed a cold brew after work now and then on Old Main Street, but I never thought that made me a hooligan.

I’m in good company.

Hardly had the fuss over the city council’s December decision died down when word came ‘round a month later there would be -- gasp! -- a sixth drinking establishment on Old Main Street’s horizon.

Bradenton’s own Bourbon Street!

A city planning commission OK’d a special-use permit for Paul Kotlarczyk to open a lounge at 450 Old Main St., opposite the county building.

If you’re keeping track, the bars already solidly established in the two-block area are:

n Cork’s Cigar Bar.

n Lost Kangaroo Pub.

n O’Brick’s Irish Pub & Martini Bar.

n Old Main Pub.

That doesn’t include Fav’s and Fisherman Joe’s, two restaurant mainstays where you can dine and have a drink.

It adds up to eight places for discriminating adults to choose from one day soon.

Make it nine, if you prefer Council’s, across from the old courthouse, for a burger and what proprietor Lawton Smith calls his “pool hall beer.”

Paul Kotlarczyk will bring an interesting dynamic to this downtown scenario.

He was a popular bartender at the original Lost Kangaroo, then left to start up The Distillery, a destination for area rock band buffs.

Kotlarczyk’s future plans will put his new place, which will serve bar food, just down the block south of the new ’Roo’s spacious location.

Thomas Stynes’ Irish pub will be on the next block north.

Together they represent the kind of young entrepeneurship Old Main Street can use.

It should bring more people to Old Main Street on a regular basis at night.

A vehicle to help develop downtown’s potential.

The city council must still give final approval for Kotlarczyk’s plans, perhaps at its Feb. 9 meeting.

Opposition notwithstanding, it stands to reason it will pass.

Things are happening on Old Main Street.

Let’s drink a toast to that.

Mannix About Manatee, by columnist Vin Mannix, is about people and issues in Manatee County. Please call Vin Mannix at 745-7055, write him at Bradenton Herald, P.O. Box 921, Bradenton, FL. 34206 or e-mail him at vmannix@bradenton.com. Please include a phone number for verification purposes.

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