BATH — After opening a pub last year, and with a steakhouse scheduled to debut at the end of this month, Joe Byrnes is fulfilling one of his life’s dreams.
The Admiral Steakhouse – a building at the corner of Centre and Washington streets that Byrnes is purchasing from the Chocolate Church Arts Center – will have a dining room and bar, as well as a private dining room called the Chief’s Mess, a nod to Byrnes’ 25 years in the U.S. Navy.
Byrnes – who with his wife, Pam, co-owns the new business and Byrnes’ Irish Pub at 38 Centre St. – said the steakhouse will tend to be open for dinner at 4 p.m. except for special occasions, such as luncheons or private parties. It will also be open seven days a week.
“I’m living a dream,” Byrnes said. “I’ve always wanted to have an Irish pub and a steakhouse.”
In describing what will make his establishment unique from others in the area, Byrnes said, “I don’t think there’s truly a real restaurant in the area that concentrates strictly on good beef products and good steaks. We’re not going to be a seafood restaurant – we’re not going to do fried seafood, we’re not going to do lobster – we’re going to be different. We said when we opened the pub that we were going to do things differently there than everybody else around town, and we plan to do the same thing here.”
Byrnes said the restaurant will specialize in steaks, chops and lamb, and that its beef would be the highest quality available. “Everything is choice or higher, all 100 percent certified Angus beef,” he said.
The decor will include white tablecloths, mahogany chairs, artwork with nautical themes, and maybe some jazz playing in the background.
“We’re trying to create a very intimate dining experience for people that want to come in and have a really nice meal,” Byrnes said.
The restaurant’s name is a nod to his Navy career, but not necessarily the way you might think. Byrnes was 18 when he went into the Navy, and 15 months later his mother died.
“She wrote to me about every other day, and every letter that she ever wrote me she started out with ‘Dear Admiral,'” he said. “So it’s kind of a tribute to her.”
The restaurant’s theme is also a tribute to Bath’s shipbuilding heritage, Byrnes explained – the four ships he took out of Bath. “I spent half my naval career on Bath-built ships,” he said. “They’re the greatest shipbuilders in the world.”
Byrnes’ entrepreneurial sights also stretch across the street to a former gas station he is leasing from Webber Energy; he plans to turn the building into a small convenience store and open it by the fall. He also intends to open another Irish pub at Maine Street Station, which is under construction in Brunswick.
Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or firstname.lastname@example.org.