Beers. Shots. Cocktails on the rocks. Friends. Conversation. Any way you slice it, the aim of bars and pubs across the country is to stir up excitement, entertainment and fun.
But aspiring bar owners shouldn’t confuse a fondness for their local pub with the ability and passion needed to run one succesfully. While it can be fun and sometimes profitable, owning a pub usually requires long hours as well as attention to detail.
Take it from Niamh Conway, the owner of three Irish bars in New York City. Conway moved from Dublin to New York in the mid-1990s and spent two years managing an Irish pub called Fiddlesticks Pub & Grill before buying it in 1999. Seven years later, Conway opened Galway Hooker, a 10,000-square-foot Irish bar in Midtown named after a sailboat traditionally used in Ireland’s Galway Bay. The concept clicked with customers, and Conway opened a second Galway Hooker in 2006.
In a nod to St. Patrick’s Day, we spoke with Conway about her journey as a bar owner. She says it hasn’t always been predictable. Here are the three things that surprised her most:
[Go here to find out what they are.]
Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.