STAYING IRISH: Brian Boru Irish Pub took the place of Molly Malone's this week. The new owners say the prices will be lower and the food more authentic. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

Molly Malone’s may be closed, but the concept of an Irish pub on the spot is still ‘Alive, alive-o.”

The former Molly’s at 7652 Madison St. has been bought by new owners and been renamed after an 11th Century Irish king: Brian Boru.

The new owner is Mark McGready, a software developer originally from Northern Ireland, now living in Naperville. He says he’s driven by nostalgia for home and the desire to create a community gathering place. Hence Brian Boru Irish Pub. Chicago’s Irish pubs have morphed into sports bars in many cases, McGready says. He thinks there’s a marketplace for a more traditional spot.

Plus, it’s hard to find good fish and chips these days.

“I feel confident that we’ll have the best fish and chips in all of Chicago,” he said. One of the new chefs just came from a three-year stint cooking in Ireland.

“I’ve been working very closely with the kitchen to replicate the dishes we’d get back home as closely as possible,” he said. “I’ve found that most Irish restaurants don’t pay attention to the details on these,” he said.

Other traditional menu items will include shepherds pie, Irish stew and the full Irish breakfast called the “Ulster Fry” with baked beans, grilled tomatoes, sausage, thick-cut bacon and eggs.

McGready also says he’s going to make prices more affordable. The menu should be online next week, he said.

McGready says he’s interested in bringing back the traditional Irish music that was featured at Molly Malone’s weekly for a dozen years. He’s also converting a storage room to a “community room” which can be rented by local charity groups for fundraisers.

As for locating in Forest Park, McGready said he’s excited there are lots of Irish nationals living in town, as well as nearby in the western suburbs. That includes contractor and zoning board member Kevin Hibbitts, who converted an old meat locker into Molly’s all those years ago.  

Jean Lotus

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...

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