Pub expands into neighboring building
JANESVILLE What it is: O'Riley & Conway's Irish Pub, 214 W. Milwaukee St., Janesville, is doubling its capacity by expanding about 1,500 square feet next door.
Owners Ed Quaerna and his nephew Joe bought the vacant building from developer Jim Grafft. The building is about the same width as the existing pub but not as deep.
The addition is expected to open Tuesday, March 12, the day after the city council is scheduled to approve expansion of liquor service into the new area.
Future plans include a beer garden in the back.
The Irish Pub opened three years ago. Booths line one wall, and small tables are set in the front area in the current pub, which can get crowded and noisy on busy nights.
Large groups looking to dine are often turned away on those nights.
The Quaernas will move the ice machine and dishwasher from the existing pub to the addition to free up space in the small kitchen.
The new area features dark wood and exposed brick, continuing the décor next door. It has a more private feel than the room next door, featuring a larger booth that seats eight to 10 people and other cozy seating areas.
The area includes a bathroom and second bar, which will have another 24 lines for beer, bringing the pub's total to 56.
The extra space will allow the pub to hold events, such as beer and whiskey tastings. It will also be available for private parties of up to 60 people.
The addition will be open at all times but possibly not staffed at all times.
The owners plan to fine tune the current menu and "ramp it up a bit" at night, adding a beef tenderloin dinner and cloth napkins.
In a historical touch, the Quaernas repurposed an old cashier's window in the new addition.
Joe's great-grandpa used to sit behind it to cash checks on payday.