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Pub proposes major changes

Amanda Gray | Thursday, March 31, 2011

Major changes, including a new name, are ahead for Kildare’s as the local pub changes hands, said Angela Maternowski, director of marketing and events at the restaurant.

Students and community members can suggest new names for the pub on Kildare’s Facebook page or at the Eddy Street location, Maternowski said. Kildare’s began collecting suggestions April 4 and the owners have received hundreds of suggestions so far. They will narrow the possibilities down to three names for the final vote.

“As the community’s public house, we thought it would be nice for our guests to suggest our new name,” she said. “We have been accepting suggestions since St. Patrick’s Day.”

The new name will be announced April 16.

Changes to the pub’s menu will also be incorporated by mid-April. Maternowski said some menu changes could include using more food products from local providers.

“Many of our items will be the same, but with better quality ingredients, and some other aspects of our menu will be completely revamped,” she said. “Prices will be adjusted as the plates are but … we will still keep your favorites.”

Kildare’s general manager Rick Stoner said the surface changes stem from a shift in the pub’s ownership.

“With the change, we will become a local, independent pub,” Stoner said.

Prior to the change, Kildare’s ownership was split between a group of local owners and the Kildare’s corporation. The local owners bought the corporate portion of the Eddy Street location and are now the sole body of ownership for the pub.

“Kildare’s ownership has been transferred from two separate co-ownership parties to one sole ownership group,” Stoner said.

Stoner said the group of local owners and much of the staff is composed of Notre Dame alumni and students, as well as community members.

“One of the greatest things about the University is its pride in community and tradition, and all of our staff — alumni and others — have been having a great time working into that mantra,” he said.

The Eddy Street location, one of six total corporate Kildare’s locations, opened around six months ago.

Frequent patrons don’t have to worry about a change in quality once the name changes, said Maternowski.

“As a local establishment we will be able to accommodate our community in any way possible,” she said. “Without the ‘Kildare’s’ brand, we stand independent, which means we will not have to follow a corporate formula and we will be able to mold our service, specials and menu to our surrounding and our guests.”

Maternowski said the changes will be difficult, but the group and restaurant can handle them.

“I believe the hardest thing that we will have to overcome is getting over the name change,” she said. “The updated menu will come almost naturally, as we have listened to our guests’ suggestions and criticisms and already know exactly where our problems lay. Of course, we will strive to continue to provide a great service and atmosphere for all of our guests.”