Those dining outside at Kildare’s of West Chester this summer have taken notice of our newly painted storefront—a striking black with rich gold accents—and our welcoming “heartthrob” red front door. Now, we’re working on exciting renovations that open up and brighten the interior space, while maintaining the Irish charm you’ve come to expect. We’d love for you to stop by for a pint and see what we’ve been working on!
To start, our entrance across from the hostess station has been painted bright yellow and will soon be a showcase for community photos and plaques, including photos of the Kildare’s Little League team.
The most impressive update has taken place over at the long bar in the room on the right side of the restaurant. Regulars will recall that the bar had been split into small sections by large partitions, which made it difficult to catch views of new potential friends that might be sitting only a few bar stools away. These partitions have been removed, opening up the space beautifully, giving those on bar seats a spectacular view of the entire room. “Part of going to a bar is people-watching, so this opens it up so you can see the whole space,” owner Dane Gray recently explained. “The bar is more open and inviting than ever.”
The front space of the right room pays homage to soccer teams from the United States and the UK. One wall is painted in the colors of Dane’s favorite team, Liverpool, with the team’s logo and team phrase “You’ll never walk alone.” A framed large-screen television hangs across from comfortable seating, providing a cozy niche when watching soccer games. Another wall is painted in the colors of the Philadelphia Union, with a framed autographed jersey anchoring the space. Dane and executive chef Stephanie Gray have also recently framed Pele and David Beckham jerseys, among others, that will be hanging on the walls soon.
While Kildare’s is a popular space for watching soccer games, the bar is also known for hosting a mix of rock-androll and Irish bands, so we’ve updated the back of the restaurant to reflect our passion for live music.
On the back wall, next to the music stage, artist Jodie Schaffer has painted an impressive mural that displays an Irish band in full jam. A bearded man shuts his eyes in concentration as he blows the tin whistle and the fiddle player looks up at the sky. They are accompanied by the squeezebox player and a man playing a bodhrán. When you stop to admire the mural, we recommend also turning to your right to examine the stone pillar, a fascinating trompe l’oeil.
Those heading to the restrooms will want to check out the walls plastered with colorful flyers featuring iconic rock ‘n roll acts such as The Rolling Stones, the Sex Pistols, David Bowie and John Lennon.
As the evolution at Kildare’s continues, we’ll be updating the ceiling above the left bar, and removing a partition to open up the seating area right past that bar. Plans are also underway to renovate the quaint back dining area into a charming Irish cottage, and the back deck is getting a makeover. We invite you in for a pint and some classic food, and hope you’ll enjoy the ever-evolving feel of Kildare’s!
Kildare’s in West Chester is a destination: an authentic Irish pub that has something for everyone. We’re a place to bring the family for weekend brunch; cheer your favorite soccer (or American football) team; enjoy next-level fare at a business lunch, dinner with friends or special event; spend happy hour (questionable dance moves and all); and, of course, imbibe great beer, whiskey and other adult libations. Join us and find out why we’re not your average Irish pub.
Photos: Jim Breslin