March 8, 2007

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Manchester gets another Irish pub
Murphy’s Taproom plans to erase all vestiges of Omega
By Erica Febre efebre@hippopress.com

The long-empty space on Elm Street in Manchester, formerly occupied by Omega, will soon house Murphy’s Taproom, an Irish-themed restaurant and pub that could open as soon as mid-April.

Keith Murphy and Karl Beisel, both Manchester residents, signed the lease for the building on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

“This building’s been closed down for eight months now. In restaurant time, that’s forever ago. Anyone who came in here before it closed isn’t going to recognize the place,” Murphy said.

Murphy said the look of the new pub will go heavy on the hard wood and authentic Irish pub decor.

The black paint on the outside of the building will definitely be changed. Murphy’s considering something earth-toned to brighten up the corner that is now so dark. He also plans to remove the tint on the outside of the Elm Street-facing windows so people can see into the establishment from outside and it won’t be so dark on the inside.

“I am allowed, and encouraged to change the looks of the place. The way I see it, the more people that can see into the establishment, the better. As soon as we get some days of decent weather, we’re going to get rid of the black store front. We’re looking at something like a light grayish-green color,” Murphy said.

The kitchen will also have to be renovated to match the needs of providing Irish-American cuisine along with other traditional American pub foods. And Murphy plans to make sure the bar can accommodate the more than 20 different beers he plans to have on tap.

Unlike a number of other establishments located on Elm Street, Murphy’s Taproom has the whole building available to it. It’s more space than needed to get things started but it’ll serve as good storage space for now, Murphy said.

“We’d eventually like to expand into the rest of the building. But for now, we’re just focused on getting the front open. Maybe after that we’ll have some time to expand into the back of the building some more,” Murphy said.

Murphy’s Taproom will also be a non-smoking restaurant adding to the “neighborhood bar atmosphere” that Murphy describes. There may also be solo acoustic shows of traditional Irish music featuring local musicians, but nothing on the high volume level.

Other partners in Murphy’s Taproom, aside from Murphy and Biesel, include Daniel and Carol McGuire of Epsom and Kevin Zomchek of Nashua.

Murphy, 31, has 15 years of experience in the restaurant business, serving at many levels, from dishwasher and waiter to manager. He is also currently serving as selectman in Manchester’s Ward 3.

Beisel, 32, in addition to part-time employment as a software engineer, volunteers his time with several Manchester-based nonprofit organizations, including For Manchester and Concerned Taxpayers of Manchester.

Murphy and Beisel are also both partners in another Manchester-based business, the New Hampshire Sports and Social Club, a company that organizes co-ed recreational sports leagues and charitable social events for adults over the age of 21.

More Irish
What: Murphy’s Taproom
Where: 494 Elm St., Manchester
When: Opening in mid-April.