Some big changes are in store for the building that formerly housed the Lemon Grove.
On Aug. 1, Christian Rinehart, chief executive of O’Donold’s Irish Pub & Grill, signed a lease for the building at 122 W. Federal St. and workers started renovating the space shortly afterward.
Rinehart said the newest O’Donold’s, second to an Austintown location that opened in 2005, will be a “hybrid” venue.
The downtown location will open either the last week of September or the first week of October. The first floor will mimic the public house feel at the Austintown location, and current renovations are working toward expanding the space’s small kitchen, a chief complaint of Lemon Grove owner Jacob Harver, who moved his restaurant two doors down to 110 W. Federal, on July 29.
By December, Rinehart plans on opening the second floor. Workers will recess the building’s front by moving it back 37 feet to create a roofed indoor-outdoor patio.
On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the second floor will serve as an area for dueling pianos and 100-seat casual dining. For the remainder of the week, it will be reserved for parties and events as well as concerts.
“The pub downstairs will be for everybody,” Rinehart said. “But upstairs, we want to offer a space where people can throw a bachelorette party — the rooftop will be for older folks who want a nice, intimate night out.”
Plans for open-air rooftop dining will not be complete until next summer.
In all, Rinehart is preparing to invest about $500,000 in the building, with most of it going toward second-floor renovations.
“I live downtown, and I’ve always been into it,” Rinehart said in explaining his decision to open a second location. “People are responding to the area, and we see growth with the potential to return our investment within five years.”
The menu will remain similar to that offered at the Austintown O’Donold’s, but it will be streamlined to deal with the downtown lunch rush. Rinehart says the bar will offer 700 various beers, with 52 on tap.
All three floors will need what Rinehart estimates to be 65 employees, with 20 working full time. His Austintown location employs 35.
St. Patrick’s Day events will now take place at both locations. Though a date for the grand opening has not been set, live Irish bands, Irish dancing and an acrobatics show are in the works.
“It’s a family pub,” Rinehart said. “But we also want to cater to adult socializing and offer an environment where the music isn’t so loud that you can’t talk. At night, the place will get a little younger and more hip — there’s going to be something for everyone.”
O’Donold’s will accept employment applications from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Friday at the downtown location.