The Transformation and the Pandemic
July 30, 2020
JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant brought a dynamic edge to the tired Miracle Mile, way before enterprises such as Starbucks, Hillstone, and Knoxville TVA 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.