A Seattle family-run eatery claims it’s the second best food in Washington state after Ireland. Kells Irish Restaurant & Bar is located in the city’s iconic Pike Place Her Market and was founded in 1983 by County Antrim natives Esna McAleese and Joe McAleese.
The couple immigrated to the United States to escape trouble and raised Gerald, who owns a second restaurant in Portland, Oregon, Paul, who lives in San Francisco, and Patrick, who runs a restaurant in Seattle. It is run by Patrick’s nephew Garrett and produces a selection of Kells beers.
For decades, the family has brought the traditions and culture of the Antrim Valley to Seattle, and in doing so they claim to offer a “truly authentic Irish experience.” Their organic “farm-to-table” menu is regularly praised by locals, tourists, and critics alike, with all fresh produce sourced locally and sourced from the Kells family in Oregon. Sourced from the farm ‘The Failme’.
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Kells also offers the city’s largest whiskey collection, banquet and private dining rooms, live Irish music, hosts the Charlie Tully Celtic Supporters Club and is the ‘go-to’ location for St Patrick’s Day. Patrick, 52, told IrishStar.com: “Kell’s is a tribute to Northern Ireland. Irish food is one of the best in the world and we’re bringing it to Seattle.”
“My parents were entrepreneurial and recognized the lack of quality Irish bars and restaurants in the area, so they gave me a serious look. There wasn’t a restaurant I’ve been to that would do that.”
“My parents baked three types of bread and were particular about fresh ingredients. My mother started out working in the kitchen, but she inspired us by taking and spreading her own recipes, such as sausage rolls and pastries. He gave it to me.
“We opened the brewery in 2012 and it was ahead of its time. It was a niche, but we were spending a lot of money on beers that weren’t very good, so we went from stouts to lagers to eyelashes. Until Rich Red, we decided to make some good pipeline beers. “But Portland is very competitive. We have more breweries than anywhere else in the world, so you can always stay on your toes.” Masu.”
Esna and Joe came to the United States in the ’70s with the help of Joe’s sister and Esna’s brother, who lived on the West Coast, and “fell in love” with the West Coast. In Ireland, Joe ran a transport company and Esna ran a women’s clothing store, so they both had experience in the service industry, which they put to good use when they moved across the pond.
Kells occupies the Butterworth Building, one of Seattle’s oldest historic buildings and the city’s first mortuary, which is said to be haunted. Ghost tours pass through the property regularly, and Patrick admits that he has heard more than one thing or two happen during the night, as has his 3-year-old daughter Madeline.
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“I’ve spent more time alone in buildings than anyone else over the last 100 years, and I’ve heard a lot of creepy things,” Patrick explained. “This is a creepy place. There was a time when a server saw a little girl in a red dress upstairs and never wanted to come back. The craziest story is in 2005 when two of her friends… came to visit me for work.
“They asked if the restaurant was open and I said it was closed for Thanksgiving. They asked me who the red-haired woman was in the kitchen at the time. That was the only time my hair stood on end.
“We all rushed out of there. Madeline also talks to ghosts. It’s like the Irish and fairies and leprechauns. You might say you don’t believe in them, but secretly I know they’re there. Just don’t mess with them!”
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Despite his jump scares, Patrick says Pike Place Market is the “soul of the city,” considering it is one of the oldest and most continuously used markets in the United States. Over the next year, Patrick plans to move to the sixth floor, install a new bar called The Hidden Gem in time for St. Patrick’s Day, and install two hotel lofts (one of which is his and his wife Olivia’s). , is planning a major expansion of the building. , Madeline will live on the rooftop patio during the spring and summer.
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“Hidden Gem is going to be a beautiful space,” Patrick explained. “This is where the chapel used to be in the old building. It has 30-foot ceilings and is perfect for weddings. We’re a little behind schedule, but we’re on target. What we’re doing is all about the love of work that goes beyond investment.” Here in Seattle, our best years await. ”
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