[attach]6638[/attach]Scott Brockington and Rick Auiler have brought a touch of Ireland to the Riverside.
The co-owners of An Sibín Pub, which took over the location from The Real Jerk on the corner of Queen Street E. and Broadview Avenue, blends the land of Ire with Canadian tradition, from the staff and menu offerings to a bar filled with Irish and Canadian whiskey, as well as Irish and craft beer.
“What An Sibín means is the Shebeen, which is a Gaelic term for a speakeasy or an illegal and unlicensed drinking establishment,” Brockington says. “A shady, off the beaten path bar.”
“Basically in Ireland, if you had people come in your home and you’d serve them drink and food, that’s what it is,” Auiler adds. “Unlicensed, it’s in someone’s house.”
An Sibín has also secured chef Tim Pettigrew formerly of Grindhouse Burger Bar, who renders his own bacon, makes his own mustard and creates black and white pudding in-house, a popular dish in Ireland and Scotland, the former of which is made with pigs blood.
“I want people to come through it and feel like they’re welcomed in our home because to me that’s what it is, this is our home,” Brockington says. “I just want everyone when they leave to go, ‘Man that was a nice spot, that was a good experience, those were some good people, I had some nice food, had a couple of pints and I didn’t waste my time at the end of the night.’ ”
Known as a House of Ceol, which is Gaelic for music, the pub features live entertainment from sessions with up to 14 musicians acoustically playing the bagpipes, fiddle and flutes, to performances by Auiler’s Johnny Cash cover band Covered in Cash.
“I think we want people come away with the fact that this is a place where they met new people,” Auiler says. “The way this place is built you can’t help but sit across from a stranger so I think it’s kind of a meeting place, a place where you can come and get some good food and listen to some great music.”
Although the east-enders had to endure some controversy and delays after they’d been offered their lease when the building was sold and an injunction allowed The Real Jerk restaurant to remain onsite, things are now looking up, they say.
They were able to negotiate better conditions and up their lease from five to 10 years. The Real Jerk owner Ed Pottinger even stopped by on their grand opening for food and a drink, and told them he never had a problem with them.
“It’s just the two of us, there’s nobody behind us, there’s no hidden people, no corporate corporations behind us, it’s our blood, sweat and tears that went into the place and I’m broker than a joke right now,” Brockington says.
“I’ve got credit card bills up the yin yang. I just want people to understand we’re here for the community, this is my area, I don’t want to go downtown again, I don’t ever want to cross that bridge ever again.”