Casey O'Dell hopes 2012 is a great year that comes with a little 'luck of the Irish.' He and his mother opened a new bar and restaurant in Eureka on Dec. 30, just in time to have a training weekend for staff that catered to New Year's Eve revelers.
Called O'Dell's Irish Pub & Ale House, only bar service is available at this time. O'Dell said they hope to finish work on the kitchen and to offer their food menu within the next two weeks.
"We're living the dream," said O'Dell, who has 15 years of previous hospitality experience. His mother has owned the building located at 141 S. Central Ave. for the past 10 years. They spent the last couple of months transforming it into a pub.
O'Dell's was filled with blarney (an Irish term for gift of gabbing) each night this weekend, and this week has been a time for catching up for the staff. O'Dell received a moratorium at Tuesday evening's board of aldermen meeting to use the bar area for the next 30 days until the kitchen is finished and receives final permits from St. Louis County officials. Accompanying food often is called "pub grub" in other countries.
Similar types of places in Ireland originally were referred to as "public houses," hence the American reference of pubs.
On Monday afternoon, Rick and Ashley Barker of Eureka stopped by O'Dell's to take a look and have some beverages. "We've been driving down Fifth Street all the time, wondering when O'Dell's was going to open," said Rick.
Ashley said Rick is the one with Irish ancestry, so she "married into it."
Most customers are remarking about one of O'Dell's unique features: chairs made from barrels. The pub also has a huge wood and stone fireplace, perfect for cozying up to for more intimate conversations. When there, be sure to take a look at the bar itself, which is one, solid piece of walnut wood that obviously came from a huge tree to be all one piece.
O'Dell's capacity is 65 people. Seating is at the bar, some booths, and a few tables.
Lottery tickets will be sold at O'Dell's. A modern juke box, Touch Tunes, is available for a variety of music selections, including all-time No. 1 hits, classics and best new artists.
"We want to have a welcoming atmosphere and a family-friendly place," said O'Dell. "We pride ourselves in service."
He said children are definitely welcome, and that they eventually will offer kids' fairs, balloons and coloring books. O'Dell said his son is there a lot.
O'Dell said the pub offers the widest selection of beers in the area, with five on tap and the goal to expand to seven. He said he is considering offering beer tasting sessions and brewing classes. Beer selections as of Tuesday evening included types such as: Bel's Best Brown Ale, Murphy's Irish Red Ale, Avery Ellie's Brown Ale, Avery Out of Barrels Stout, New Belgium, Schafly Pale Ale, Stone Ruination, Nectar Ales, Hemp Ale, Harp, Killians Red, Blue Moon, Big Sky Moose Drool Ale, Douple IPA, Sierra Nevada, Guinness and Kraftig.
Two beers called Odells 5 Barrel Pale Ale and Odells Myrcenary also are offered, but bear no relationship to the O'Dell family.
Of course, Irish coffees also are served. O'Dell, who now splits his residency between Eureka and Florissant, said a pub has been a "back burner dream" of his for several years.
O'Dell's current hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Come back to Eureka-Wildwood Patch for updates.