Brunswick pub hopes to continue Pleasant Street tradition

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BRUNSWICK — A new bar at the former home of the Raven’s Roost at 103 Pleasant St. is slated to open in December.

Owner Patrick O’Donoghue signed a lease for the 2,500-square-foot property Oct. 18, with plans to transform the place into a pub-style bar and restaurant serving American fare.

“The theme is relax, visit with your friends, have a pint. If you’re hungry, we’ll throw something on for you,” O’Donoghue, a Freeport resident, said in an interview the next day.

He added that he hopes loyal patrons of the building’s former watering hole will, well, come home to roost.

“Everyone’s been after me, when are you going to open?” he said.

When Raven’s Roost shut its doors in July, O’Donoghue explained, the closing turned regulars into a nomadic group of drinking buddies. Communicating through the Facebook group “Raven’s on the Road,” the group of more than 100 members would gather at different drinking establishments in the area.

While O’Donohue hopes to fill a local void – he noted the 103 Pleasant St. spot has been a bar for decades, with iterations extending back before Raven’s – the proposed name of his bar has a long history of its own.

O’Donohue’s family owns an iconic bar by the same name in Ireland, near St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin.

Opened by Patrick’s great-grandfather in the late-1800s, the pub is in the heart of Dublin’s bar scene, and at least one Irish musician has gone so far as to immortalize it in song, he said.

Its rendition in Brunswick will be an American spin on the same idea – “I don’t want to out-Irish (Byrnes Pub), O’Donoghue said – with “dark wood and cozy warm feeling.”

O’Donoghue has faith the venture will succeed, given the building’s history as a bar and its orphaned patronage.

To that end, he also considered 122 Pleasant St. across the street, the former location of Ebenezer’s Brewpub, which closed in August.

O’Donoghue went so far as to announce his intentions to move into that venue – including plans to brew beer there under the name Brunswick Brewing – when the Town Council approved him for a liquor license Oct. 16.

But according to O’Donoghue, the deal fell through when he went to sign a lease for the 5,000-square-foot restaurant and brewery on Oct. 18. Instead, he turned around and signed for the space across the street.

“It’s one of those locations where a number of people come to congregate,” O’Donoghue said. And like his family, “it’s got a long, rich history.”

Callie Ferguson can be reached at 781-3661, ext. 100, or cferguson@theforecaster.net. Follow Callie on Twitter: @calliecferguson.

Freeport entrepreneur Patrick O’Donoghue is hoping to draw former patrons of the shuttered Raven’s Roost back to 103 Pleasant St. in Brunswick this winter by opening O’Donoghue’s, an American pub.

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Reporting on municipal, school, and community news in Brunswick and Harpswell. Bowdoin graduate, Wild Oats sandwich-eater. Callie can be reached at 207-781-3661 ext. 100, or cferguson@theforecaster.net.
  • Chew H Bird

    Congratulations on the new business and I hope it does well. That said, apparently Brunswick has no issue with issuing licenses for alcohol based establishments, but is choking on establishments that want to sell marijuana (not addictive and less dangerous than alcohol), to the public…

  • Angel Lee Lorom

    Thanks for the shoutout Patrick! Will be nice to have our old familiar watering hole back