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St. Patrick’s Day at JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant

Throughout its existence, JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant had achieved iconic status in South Florida from its various Irish offerings and the annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations. The St Patrick’s Day party at JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant wasn’t like any other St Patrick’s Day party. The party was on, so to speak, day and night. It started at noon with Bobbie Ritchie the Bagpiper, and continued to the wee hours of the morning. For nearly 20 years, patrons donned in green filled the street on March 17 to listen to folk bands and bagpipers while sipping over a pint of Guinness and enjoying corned beef, shepherd’s pie, and cabbage. Every year on March 17, JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant would host various Irish-themed activities running from noon through to 2 am. Some of the people who have been hosted at the Irish pub include on St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, the band Luna, whose lead singer Shane McCluskey who performed a couple of traditional folk songs that brought the spirit of Ireland to Coral Gables at a recent St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. One of the reasons why the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant was so popular was that it wasn’t focused exclusively on adults. There were various activities that kids could enjoy, such as face painting, balloon animals, and unicorn pony rides. This made it an especially fun event for families to spend the day together. The local pub featured classic Irish drinks as well as its traditional Irish fare. The special menu during St. Patrick’s Day Celebration featured fish, chips, shepherd’s pie, mash, and bangers. The house Dj provided additional entertainment on the decks from 9 pm. The authenticity of the activities made patrons feel like they were feasting on the Emerald Isle at JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant.

Although many American cities have Irish pubs where locals and ex-pats can hang out over a pint, Miami isn’t as big as New York or Boston. JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant brought an authentic taste of Ireland to a region not famous for the wearing of the green. Although the COVID-19 pandemic hastened the closure of JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, the joint will always maintain an iconic spot in the hearts of Coral Gables residents. For 30 years, JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant provided a fun Irish haven where locals and ex-pats could hang out and enjoy live music, well-made meals, and Irish drinks. The killer trivia night on Thursdays was undoubtedly one of the hardest trivia to crack, and the Friday Karaoke nights were terrific.

It will be interesting to watch how the food scene will unfold in South Florida after the exit of one of the longest-serving restaurants in the region and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As with all crises, this too shall pass, and the economy will start to do well again. Hopefully, things will turn around sooner rather than later. However, all things considered, you will be hard-pressed to find an Irish pub in South Florida that rivals the iconic status that JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant has attained over the years. Such a reputation takes years of effort and consistency to build. That JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant has set the bar so high, should not serve as a deterrent, but as an encouragement to other Irish pubs in the region that they too…


The Transformation and the Pandemic

JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant brought a dynamic edge to the tired Miracle Mile, way before enterprises such as Starbucks, Hillstone, and Amex set up shop in Coral Gables. When Clarke and Lynch opened John Martin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, there wasn’t much activity in the area. You could easily roll a bowling ball down the street without hitting anything. Before long, JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant became a night-life destination in South Florida.

The JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant was the life of the party during the annual St. Patrick’s Day. During their peak, they could smoothly go through over 120 kegs of beer and 200 pounds of corned beef. However, Miami’s growth brought with it a significant level of competition in the hospitality industry, and JohnMartin’s had to evolve or become extinct. Clarke and Lynch diversified the offerings at JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant to include karaoke and trivia nights. The transformation brought a new edge to the bar and allowed JoJohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant to maintain its relevance across different generations of patrons. Clark and Lynch’s business venture has been very successful, allowing them to put all their children through school.

As the two grew older, they began to realize that it was time to retire from the business and secretly planned not to renew their lease once it expired in 2020. They planned to host a month’s worth of banquets as a thank you to the patrons and staff who had supported them through the years. However, these plans were cut short when the COVID-19 crisis began.

After the COVID-19 pandemic began, the US government ordered bars and restaurants to be shut down as a safety measure to curb the coronavirus pandemic. The new state of affairs prompted JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant to switch to takeout and delivery, providing traditional Irish fares and drinks to go. After some time, Clarke and Lynch informed regulars that they would no longer be offering pints of Guinness at the JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant.

For over 30 years, the Irish pub had been the spot to take a pint or two and enjoy Irish folk music in the Coral Gables region. The owners informed their patrons that they had initially planned to host a couple of farewell parties during May, but unfortunately will not be able to do so. Following the advent of COVID-19, the hardest thing for the owners was to break down the news of the closure to their employees and tell them that it was time to stay home and stay safe.…


JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant – An Exciting Venture of Lifelong Friends

JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant was a South Florida-based establishment located on the dynamic Miracle Mile. It was started in 1989 by two Irishmen Martin Lynch and John Clarke, with the vision of creating an Irish-style establishment that would suit Coral Gables. Throughout its existence, JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant has entirely transformed the region’s spirits industry. Before its establishment, the law stated that liquor could only be served at a table and restricted it from being served over a bar, but the owners helped turn things around. The traditional Irish pub featured a rich selection of bottle and draft beers, spirits, and delicious meals. One of the reasons that JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant was so popular among locals was the reasonably priced meals and drinks, live music, broadcast sporting events, and comedy nights. The establishment offered a laid-back local bar vibe in contrast to the flashy Miami clubs. All these features made JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant an ideal hangout space for those looking to meet someone in a laid back environment. JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant was open on Sundays through Thursday until midnight and extended its operations for two more hours on Fridays and Saturday.

Martin Lynch and John Clarke are lifelong friends who grew up in the same neighborhood. The two grew up about a mile from each other in Killinkere Parish, Northwest Dublin. Lynch and Clarke moved to South Florida in the early 1880s to pursue a career in the hospitality industry. John Clarke preceded Martin Lynch in relocating to Miami when he moved there in 1981, and Lynch followed in 1985. Before arriving in South Florida, Clarke had received classic training as a French chef from a culinary institution in Switzerland and had landed a role at the Biltmore Hotel as a chef. When Lynch arrived in Coral Gables, he first took a job as a waiter at Christy’s Steakhouse before he and Clarke decided to go into business.

In the late 1980s, Martin Lynch and John Clarke decided that it was time to put their experience in the hospitality industry to the best use by recreating their home in Killinkere Parish, Northern Dublin. With the help of a few investors, the duo raised $1.5 million for their business venture, and acquired an old Greek restaurant and a nearby antique spot and transformed it into what came to be known as JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant. They erected a refined 20-foot mahogany bar running across the restaurant’s length and incorporated reclaimed maple wood from a destroyed Dublin Church on their floors. Every detail from the setup down to the prints had an Irish ring to it. Clark and Lynched were pioneers of the Coral Gables‘ food scene. When they opened JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant in 1989, but couldn’t serve alcohol at their exquisite bar due to the 1926 Coral Gables law prohibiting alcohol from being served over the bar. In 1990, they helped overturn the ordinance and have been rocking and rolling ever since.…