A sign reads “profanity makes
ignorance audible” over the bar at The Clarke Hotel. The bar
will be reopening soon with an Irish pub theme.
WAUKESHA - Irish eyes - and eyes of every other type -
will soon be smiling in downtown Waukesha as The Clarke
Irish Pub plans to open its doors very soon.
the better,” said bar manager Paul Ward, who has run the pub at
Milwaukee’s County Clare Inn for the past 14 years.
Ward said the
bar inside The Clarke Hotel hotel at
314 W. Main St. will definitely be up and running within the
next couple of weeks, and the restaurant should be open by
Harp & Eagle
Limited, owners of inn-and-pub combos all over the state
including Milwaukee’s County Clare, closed on its $1 million
purchase of the hotel in May. The hotel has remained operational
but the restaurant and bar have been empty since September 2012,
when the former owner left town amid personal and legal
The taps at The Clarke Hotel bar
- soon to reopen as The Clarke Irish Pub - now feature Irish
favorites like Guinness and Magner’s Irish Cider.
pub’s retaining the Clarke name because the Clarke
family, whose name has been on that property for
decades, had an Irish heritage, Ward said.
remodeled bar features lots of nods to the Emerald Isle,
including a pale green hue, Irish blessing on the wall and an
ambiance that Ward hopes will invoke the feeling of Irish
“public houses” - better known as pubs.
The Clarke Hotel bar, soon to
reopen as The Clarke Irish Pub, is reflected in a mirror
advertising Redbreast Irish Whiskey.
where people would come to talk business. Farmers,
politicians ... it was like a city hall,” said Ward,
himself from County Clare, Ireland. One of his fellow
Irishmen, Seamus Boyle, built all the pub’s dark wooden
benches by hand to provide an intimate setting for
patrons to enjoy the nine (for now) tap beers that the
pub will offer, at some of the lowest prices in town.
Ward said he
hopes the pub will be known for its high-quality drinks that
feature only name-brand colas and energy drinks - nothing
generic out of a soda gun. He’ll be serving up Irish coffees
featuring fair-trade Valentine Coffee, a Wauwatosa-based roast
making its first inroads into Waukesha County at The Clarke
The Clarke Irish Pub's manager,
said he also expects the pub will be known for its
friendly, secure atmosphere.
on the human spirit,” Ward said. “My favorite saying is
‘Strangers are friends you haven’t met yet.’ This is a place
where you stop looking at your phone and talk to each other. The
number one thing is hospitality and making you feel at home.”