O’Donold’s Irish Pub will take over the space in downtown Youngstown being vacated by the Lemon Grove.
The pub and restaurant will open in late August. The facility will be redeveloped in a four-stage process to expand the kitchen and add open-air dining. The interior will mimic the public house feel used in the Austintown location, but with some added polish as a nod to the expectations and demographics of its city center location.
“The heart of a city needs to be nurtured and strong or the suburbs aren’t going to do well,” said Christian Rinehart, O’Donold’s owner who lives in Youngstown’s Crandall Park neighborhood on the North Side.
Rinehart said he has been looking for a spot to expand into the downtown for several years, but was waiting for just the right location.
“We’ve had a deal for about three months, but we had to wait until Jacob [Harver, Lemon Grove owner] confirmed he was moving,” Rinehart said.
O’Donold’s has begun purchasing furniture from Ireland to fill the new location, he said. The downtown site will offer a full menu, but it will be streamlined to help the lunch rush, Rinehart said.
Rinehart takes ownership of the building Aug. 1 and hopes initial renovations, including a larger kitchen, will be completed in time for a grand opening later in the month. Construction will begin on the second floor of the site immediately after opening, he said.
It is good to see new businesses coming into the downtown that are trying to be unique and understand the Youngstown market, said Phil Kidd, founder of Defend Youngstown, a grass-roots organization that promotes activism and community pride.
“These people understand Youngstown. They’ve been doing this elsewhere, and they should be able to hit the ground running,” Kidd said referring to Rinehart and the owners of Dooney’s Downtown Grille, which plans to open later this month in the former Buffalo Wild Wings location on West Federal Street.
O’Donold’s’ commitment to the downtown area extends beyond the new site.
“We’re also planning on moving our corporate offices downtown. We’re looking at a building at the end of the road,” Rinehart said.
O’Donold’s will begin accepting applications for the 50 new people it intends to hire starting next week. From 2 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, the company will accept applications on the second floor of the Lemon Grove at 122 W. Federal St.
The Lemon Grove will open at its new site at 110 W. Federal St., the former Rosetta Stone restaurant, later this month or in early August.