Perhaps not much needed fixing when new proprietors Adam Reiss and Alan Gross took over one of Pompano beach areas most popular longtime gathering establishments.
“We expressed to everyone that we wanted to keep the integrity and character of the bar and just polish up some of the edges. Not change too much. Everyone seemed very pleased with that and now the atmosphere is a healthy new start for the next era. We will be adding outdoor seating and that’s about it. People like it–we are not going to mess with a really good thing.” Reiss voiced.
Noticeably, new larger TV screens hang about the room emitting popular sports games and entertainment. Gross informs that they do not have news channels on to keep the bar away from controversial politics interrupting the enjoyment of the laid back casual atmosphere that radiates here. He also notes they have added more beer brands, remodeled the bathrooms and will upgrade the roof soon so all is kept in good cheer.
Listening avidly to their employees and customers has opened the doors to choices that are being made and highly welcomed by the establishments' loyal customer base. We simply asked “How can we make it better and they responded,” Reiss expressed.
The deeply rich nautical themed beach side Irish bar has made a strong mark with a great mix of live music, tasty edibles together with it being an interesting place to strike up some interesting conversation with the local folk and travelers alike. Located at 3440 East Atlantic Boulevard and Briny Avenue across from one of the Atlantic Ocean’s treasured beaches, unpretentiousness permeates here in this rustic nautical Key West shack feel. Open windows to Briny Avenue provide a direct view to the beach activity and vibe. Established in 1945, this elongated shaped venue along the beach side sidewalk can accommodate approximately 100 comfortably and a service dog or two.
“We acquired the real estate of the shopping center next store in 2013 and this was the missing piece to owning the block. We are in the real estate business (Reiss a real estate attorney and Gross banking/financing) and have never been in the bar or restaurant business but we were approached recently by Mike Brennan — the previous owner.” The two partners also have family members that are equity owners.
“We had been talking to Mike about trying to acquire it for several years and Mike was gracious enough to give us first shot,” said Gross. Its so well loved this place, when we starting talking to people about it, the entertainment, and how great the staff and Mike as an operator and all the customers that come down here... We had a comfortable feeling that this was something worthwhile pursuing and continuing to operate,” Reiss adds.
Also noted for its friendly service, the only change in the transition with personnel is the new owners have added a general manager. “All 18 employees have stayed on being embraced like family with new owners Adam and Alan. Its much more than a wee bit appreciated.
“The people here are so dedicated to their job that they know their schedule and they all just show up and do their job well. Some of the employees have been here 15 and 16 years — its a coveted job in the restaurant bar industry. They know they are going to make good money here with it often getting packed 5 or 6 nights a week. We kept everyone we started with now we have 19,” Gross expressed.
”We could not have done this without the staff who have been unbelievable. We hired Hank Schultz as General Manager— that’s all we changed. The bar staff, the kitchen staff, the wait staff have all been amazing.” Reiss adds. The warm friendly smiles and commendable service has not changed at all.
I witnessed first hand with longtime bartender Mike Bolduc. Almost everyone who enters the bar gave a friendly hello by name to Mike. He makes them feel like its their home away from home — one that has servants at your call. Beyond being at your service he has become friends with just about everyone that seem to take frequent journeys here.
Mike informed his roots are from Waterville Maine where he will be visiting sometime soon. Upon my recent visit, it did not take long to see that he is a big part of the element of why people keep coming back to the Briny Irish Pub.
“Customers love this place the way it is. They were concerned that we might make a lot of changes and it would not provide them the same enjoyment,” Reiss expressed.
Already fears have subsided and compliments are flowing about on the improvements that they have crafted. Clearly making a testament that these are the good old days for this revered rustic masterpiece.
The new team has added an extra night of live music since they stepped in that now goes Tuesday through Sunday. Now only Monday does not have top area musicians taking the stage in this intimate setting to entertain. The musicians love the stage time here too. The notable entertainment venue also offers a fine sound system for the artists and audience that makes it a friendly and convenient for all.
“I walked up to my 24-year-old yoga instructor in Davie and said Gabby here is my new card and she said, Oh my god Alan! that's my favorite bar in all of south Florida. I’ve been hearing that from a lot of people lately now that's its a topic in my world,” Gross expressed.
“We meet people constantly that say they have been coming here for 20-plus years and they are from Baltimore, New York, New Jersey, Boston, Chicago, from everywhere they love it this is ther home away from home. To us it's amazing, the culture and the history that this place has and the communal feel here is like a Cheers. People really dig it. It's unique—there are not many places like this around anymore. This place has a special history and spirit of this community.” Reiss adds.
The major new recent and ongoing developments have dramatically reshaped the area with the rebuilding of the pier and numerous large waterfront restaurants and shops that have made the popular beach community an even greater destination in this one of the fastest growing areas in the world (South Florida).
Yet the new upscale places don’t have the frequent repeat visits of the local folks and certainly not the more friendly prices the Briny Irish Pub offers either. All in all its a bigger and better block with this establishment as a cornerstone since a long, long time ago...
“The nostalgia and its history is kinda cool. You can’t walk into places like this — we are it,” Reiss said.
“I feel there will be a Briny Pub here for a long time no matter what happens with the development of the area,” Gross states.
And that statement brings a whole world of happiness to many.
Briny Irish Pub 3440 E Atlantic Blvd, Pompano Beach, Florida USA
Hours: Open daily from 11PM - 2 AM | Happy Hour 11AM - 7PM
Serving Lunch & Dinner 11AM - 11PM
Live Music Artists "The best the area has to offer" Tuesday - Sunday evenings / Plus Sunday afternoons
Phone: 954 942 3159
PHOTO: NEW BRINY IRISH PUB OWNERS ADAM REISS AND ALAN GROSS
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