Oh, my Guinness!
● By J. Chambless
The new team at Kildare's West Chester! From left to right, Executive Chef Stephanie Gray, co-owner Tom Farnesi, co-owner Dane Gray, bartender Ryan Uhler and wait staffer Xana Lindsay.
By Richard L. Gaw
You can say that Dane Gray knows a little about what makes a successful Irish restaurant and pub.
For years, he was the manager and head concierge of the Morrison Hotel in Dublin, Ireland. Over the last several years, Gray has served as the director of operations for up to seven Kildare's location in as many as four states, but it as the flagship location of the Kildare's brand – on West Gay Street in downtown West Chester – that was always nearest to his heart. So this past July, Gray, along with his business partner Tom Farnesi, took over the ownership of the West Chester location from the pub's former owner, the Dave Magrogran Group.
The first inklings to purchase a restaurant began in 2012, when Gray and Farnesi – a long-time West Chester businessman and owner of Penn Street Mortgage – began discussions. Armed with Gray's background and Farnesi's business connections in the community, they began their search for the perfect place, only to have it land at a very familiar spot: Kildare's West Chester.
“It's a beautiful establishment in a beautiful town,” Gray said. “Having spent so many years in Ireland, I truly appreciate the time that was put into the aesthetics of the space. Every day, as soon as I walk into Kildare's, I'm transported back to Ireland. I really feel at home within these walls.”
In fact, the West Chester location reminded Gray so much of home, he recruited his wife Stephanie – a Culinary Institute of America graduate – to serve as the restaurant's executive chef.
“I'm really excited to let my creativity run free again,” she said. We're going to elevate the sophistication of the menu to a level that West Chester diner will truly appreciate.”
Kildare's West Chester is located at 18 West Gay Street, West Chester, Pa 19380. To learn more about the restaurant and pub, and to see a full menu listing, visit www.kildarespub.com/west-chester, or call 610-431-0770.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.