Looking to celebrate another St. Patrick’s Day in the age of the pandemic, but with a different twist? You better go fast.
“The floodgates opened,” said Craig, 58. “We receive requests [to rent it]at least two per hour, last week.
The idea of building a small Irish pub, with a small bar, stools, banquettes and many other features found in traditional places of this type, had been on Craig’s mind for years, since that he read an article about an inflatable Irish bar that people could rent for a day in their own backyard.
While he thought he could make the experience more authentic, he never took the plunge.
“I had talked about it as a pipe dream that would never come true,” said Craig, who works in marketing.
But as Reading residents found themselves spending a lot of time around a fire pit in Matt’s Yard at the start of the pandemic – one of the few activities still safe and permitted – the possibility has come to the fore, like the head of a perfectly poured pint of Guinness.
“We were talking about it night after night,” said Matt, 49. “Eventually it was like, ‘Okay, let’s just do this.’ It’s kind of the perfect pandemic project because people were getting together in their backyards and staying outside, and we said, ‘Yeah, that would be perfect for this situation.’
Last February, after debating the idea and discussing the logistics, they decided to give it a shot. They bought a large trailer to build the little pub, so it could be towed from place to place on demand.
When it was finally delivered in April, they got to work on the build, a joint effort backed by Matt – “an IT guy by trade” with a penchant for carpentry.
“I’m definitely more about the overall feel and vibe,” said Craig, who went on a genealogy tour of Ireland in 2018 with his family, visiting the homeland of his ancestors of the woman. “Matt is precise to the micro inch to make sure every chevron is accurate.”
To build the roughly 7-by-17-foot pub, which resembles the popular tiny houses people rent when camping, they sourced materials from online marketplaces like Craigslist, and repurposed and upcycled old furniture and decor. ‘other articles to try to give it away. an authentic look and feel.
Their siblings and other close family members contributed significantly.
Within months, the cozy pub had it all: a Sláinte sign adorned one wall, beneath a weathered horseshoe. A framed card of Ireland suspended above an electric fireplace. The small bar has been installed, with a refrigerator and taps for the kegs. A plaque dedicating the project to Craig’s late father-in-law – who was of Irish descent – is mounted behind the pews, forever holding a seat for him.
The design of the cream-colored cottage is similar to mobile pubs built by Irish company The Shebeen, which brought one of its units to Boston in 2015.
The Wee Irish Pub, which seats up to 12 people indoors, finally held its first event – a company gathering in Melrose – in September. He hasn’t slowed down since.
“For me it was, ‘Hey, this could be a retirement gig in a few years,'” Matt said. “Now it looks like it would be a job we could just do – it could be our livelihood.”
The company, officially dubbed “Tiny Pubs”, is based in Reading. But the brothers will deliver the bar to people’s doorsteps up to 30 miles away (or more, depending on the situation).
Rentals cost between $800 and $1,200 a day, with Craig and Matt arriving to help set up in the afternoon and then packing it all up the next day.
Although not stocked with alcoholic beverages, Tiny Pubs will direct people to bartending service if needed, to keep gatherings running smoothly.
Most people rent it to celebrate milestone birthdays and retirement parties, the brothers said. But they recently received a call from a client who has a terminally ill relative who has always wanted to visit Ireland but can no longer.
Instead, “they bring him the pub down the aisle, to get a little taste of Ireland,” Craig said. “It’s very sweet.”
Craig and Matt said preparations for St. Patrick’s Day, long a popular occasion for Boston-area residents to celebrate, and most of March are already nearly complete.
With their sudden success, the Taylors are now thinking ahead, thinking ways to expand their niche brand. So what’s in store for the brothers?
“A Boston sports pub could be next,” Matt said.