Evansville to open new Irish pub by St. Patrick’s Day in 2024

Evansville to open new Irish pub by St. Patrick’s Day in 2024
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 6:27 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - A group of local restaurant owners says this will be the last St. Patrick’s Day in Evansville without an Irish pub.

It was a big day for the owner of Doc’s Sports Bar. Not only was it St. Patrick’s Day and the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, but he’s part of a group working to open Hartigan’s Irish Pub downtown before the end of the year, making this their last St. Patrick’s Day without it.

The owner of Doc’s Sports Bar, lovingly known as “Big Cat,” says there are certain occupational hazards to owning a bar on St. Patrick’s Day.

“I actually don’t own a lot of green, so it means my bar’s not only busy but everybody’s pinching me all day, which early in the morning is kind of funny but by like 9 o’clock at night you’ve got anxiety about it,” said Joshua “Big Cat” Pietrowski.

St. Patrick’s Day paired with the NCAA men’s basketball tournament makes for a busy weekend for a bar owner, but he says it will look a different next year.

Pietrowski says he’s working with two others to open Hartigan’s Irish Pub, something they plan not only to offer authentic Irish fare, but also be in line with other recent restaurants in town.

“Over the past five to seven years, Evansville has started to develop some of these businesses that when you walk into them you feel like you’re in a big city,” said Pietrowski.

Pietrowski says Hartigan’s will be on Main Street in downtown Evansville next to the Peephole. He says the work to open the pub is already underway, including some construction on the main floor level.

He says they want that big-city feel in Hartigan’s, something they have seen in other restaurants which have come downtown.

“Nothing against Evansville, I love it, I’m going to die here, but you feel like you’re in New York City, or you feel like you’re in Nashville, just with a really heavy Irish spin on it,” said Pietrowski.

Until then, Big Cat says he’s keeping busy with this weekend’s events, and he’s looking forward to next year’s celebration. Pietrowski says he understands why people find St. Patrick’s Day and Irish culture so appealing.

“I think a lot of people identify with it, and you grow up with this really cool day, where everybody wishes they could be Irish, and it’s just fun,” said Pietrowski.

They say they plan to have Hartigan’s Pub up and running by November. For updates on their progress, make sure to visit their Facebook page.