JohnMartin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant – An Exciting Venture of Lifelong Friends
July 24, 2020
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.