McCarthy's Pub opened last week on Albany Street in Cazenovia. Pictured from left: Greeter/doorman Brady Sopcheck; co-owner Keely O'Hara, host Kevin McCarthy, and artist Paul Parpard, who designed the sign. (submitted photo)
By Jason Emerson
The answer to everyone’s question in Cazenovia is: Yes — McCarthy’s Pub at 64 Albany St. is now open.
The pub, in the former Junior’s space, is an authentic Irish pub with Irish comfort food and drinks in a family-friendly atmosphere.
“It’s not a bar; it’s a pub,” said co-owner Deege O’Hara. “We pride ourselves on our meals — we’re a place where you can get a decent meal at a fair price.”
“We wanted to keep it simple — get a burger, have a pint and watch the game; it’s a family place,” said co-owner and head chef Ward O’Hara. “We’ve been warmly received by the community; we’re off to a good start.”
The owners — Deege, Ward and Deege’s daughter Keely O’Hara — bought the location last November and spent the past five months completely renovating and remaking the space. The kitchen is completely rebuilt, the interior has a darkened-wood, Irish feel, there are photographs of Ireland and authentic pictures and knickknacks from Ireland around the pub. In fact, much of the décor — and some of the employees — came over specifically from Ireland to create McCarthy’s, Deege said.
The O’Hara’s originally come from Ireland but have been in the Syracuse area since they get jobs helping to build the Erie Canal in the early 19th century. The family — which includes members named McCarthy — has been working with horses and running pubs for generations, and they have grown to love Cazenovia so much that they decided it was a great community, and a great Albany Street location, to open their new endeavor.
Deege previously ran his father’s law firm in Fayetteville; Ward, who trained at the Johnson & Wales University’s culinary school, has cooked in country clubs and restaurants down the East Coast; and Keely is a former competitive show jumper who owns a farm in Delphi Falls.
The pub opened on Thursday, Nov. 9, to a large crowd — and it has been busy ever since. “It’s actually been a little overwhelming,” Deege said.
McCarthy’s Pub offers live music, free Wi-Fi and big screen TVs that feature live soccer and curling feeds directly from Europe. They have Irish beers such as Harp, Guinness and Smithwick’s — as well as local beers from Empire, Critz Farms and Seneca Street Brew Pub in Manlius — and they make a “crackin’ Irish coffee,” said pub host and bartender Kevin McCarthy, who came to Caz from Tipperary, Ireland.
On the food side, the O’Haras recommend trying their fish and chips, red reuben sandwich, Irish poutine and the Cashel blue beef (slow-roasted beef baked with Cashel blue cheese).
“This is something we’ve always wanted to do,” Deege said. “I’m so excited; the town has been so receptive.”
McCarthy’s Irish Pub, located at 64 Albany St., is open seven days a week. For more information, call 315-815-4085, or go online to mcpubcaz.com.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.