Familiar faces back at Paddy's Pub in Dalton

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DALTON — A landmark Dalton bar is back in familiar hands and will reopen soon, as its owners hurry to retain employees after a surprise closing by another operator.

Richard Callahan and Roberta Dus secured an all-alcohol liquor license transfer Monday that will allow them to operate Paddy's Pub at 645 Main St.

The development brings familiar faces back to the bar and restaurant, three years after Callahan and Dus thought they had closed their careers as publicans.

But with no notice, they learned early this summer that as of July 1, power was to be shut off to the bar, which Dus owns and had leased to a new manager, Constance Constantino, who did business as Paddy's on Main St.

"We owned it and sold it and got it back," Callahan told the town's Licensing Board on Monday night. "We have so many things we want to do in there."

Callahan's and Dus' application for a license transfer was unanimously approved, but brought an unusual question from board member John Boyle, a former bar owner himself.

Aren't you a little old for this? Boyle asked Callahan, a childhood friend, with a smile.

"Way too old to be getting in, but what can we do?" Callahan said. "I'm only 73. It's way too young to stop working."

The couple also secured an entertainment license for the hours from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m.

The pub will remain closed for two weeks to a month, Callahan said in a phone interview Tuesday, while the local license approval is forwarded for further action in Boston.

Callahan said he and Dus opened a bar they called Paddy's about eight years ago, then leased it to Constantino in February 2016. The building formerly housed a bar called Shamrock, a name it shared with the motel on the rear of a parking lot on the west side of the building. Dus owns the Shamrock Inn property but leases it to the motel operator.

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Dus bought the 645 Main St. property in 2000 for $355,000, according to her application.

Callahan said that after a thorough cleaning of the bar, he plans to add six taps to the draft lineup to increase its selection of craft beers.

"This is a good time to make sure everything is spotless and clean," he said. The kitchen is getting a new pizza oven as well.

He'll also be taking town the brown paper that went up over the bar's windows, signaling distress to passersby.

Callahan will be the manager of record, with Dus listed on licensing documents as the owner of Paddy's Pub LLC.

The pub seats 56, according to the license transfer application prepared by Dalton attorney Richard J. O'Brien. The first floor of the building has four rooms and measures 1,925 square feet.

In a handwritten narrative supplied with the application, Dus, who lives with Callahan at 73 Raymond Drive in Dalton, says the prior operator broke her lease and returned the property, including its contents.

"The owner informed me that she is turning off the utilities June 30. ... This leaves me with a restaurant & pub to run again," Dus wrote. "Seeing I own the building and [contents] I don't need bank financing at this time, unless at a later date I do."

She added, "I need to open this immediately so I don't lose the employees and to keep up taxes."

The reopened bar and restaurant will employ up to nine people, not including Callahan as manager.

"It's real estate, and it's worth nothing if it's not open," Callahan said.

Larry Parnass can be reached at lparnass@berkshireeagle.com, at @larryparnass on Twitter and 413-496-6214.


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