Monday, June 29, 2009
NO DRUNK PENGUINS IN WATERFORD
WATERFORD — The town's main drag almost had a business on it called The Drunken Penguin. Almost.
The new owners of the former Kielty’s Emerald Isle pub wanted to give their new establishment an Old World name similar to those they saw in London like the Elephant & Castle or Lion’s Head.
Well, owner Sandi Wagner collects penguin figurines and her husband, Brian, collects elephants.
Another Old World-themed thought was to call their business the Elephant & Penguin, said the couple, who originally met when they both were living in Germany.
But then Sandi had an epiphany in a dream to name the business The Drunken Penguin. Their lawyers, however, consulted with the state’s Liquor Authority, which did not agree with the moniker.
"We were never outright told that we could not use the name. But we were told they did not approve of it," said Wagner. This was because it had the word "drunk" in the title, which could encourage heavy drinking on the premises.
The couple joked that a penguin would be angry at this decision. And so The Angry Penguin was born.
The pub has had its new name since mid-April but they just put up the sign two weeks ago, making it official for pedestrians and drivers that this was no longer Kielty’s.
Bill Morrell, who purchased Kielty’s from the owner with the same last name who decided to keep the name, has been in the process of selling the business for about a year and a half.
It took the Wagners about that long to obtain a loan for the business and officially purchase the property.
In the meantime, they had been helping behind the bar and in the kitchen to learn the ropes.
The new owners, who live down the street from the pub on Broad Street, plan to release a new menu around the beginning of July and eventually make some changes such as applying new paint, remodeling the kitchen, putting in larger tables to accommodate groups, and utilizing a storage room adjacent to the bar as another dining room.
The menu will include more than the usual fried pub fare with selections, including Thai pasta dishes, jumbaliah, Central New York favorite riggies, some vegetarian dishes, and German schnitzel.
"Everybody’s been great and welcoming," said Sandi adding they had a steady clientele, but expect it will take a bit longer to attract additional customers.
"We’ve always wanted our own business and plan to eventually turn our house on Saratoga Avenue, which overlooks the canal, into a Bed and Breakfast, too. I’d been into Kielty’s a couple of times and it just seemed like a perfect fit for what we were looking for," she added.
The establishment has a long bar with stools, which can accommodate about 15 people and then a traditional dining area for about 40 patrons.
As Kielty’s, the pub was a popular hangout, especially for local elected officials after village and town board meetings.
And, for as long as anyone can remember, the 41 Broad St. property has been a restaurant or bar.
It has been known as Kielty’s Emerald Isle for about a decade, before that it was the Old Village Tavern for about 20 years, before that Mickey Joe’s for nearly half a century, and Sophie’s restaurant around the turn of the 20th century.
Danielle Sanzone can be reached at 270-1292 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.