A New Chapter: Garvan’s Given Irish Welcome

Photo by David Khorassani.

Before Garvan’s Restaurant opened, local customers eager to get the first bite made reservations for Valentine’s Day. And since opening about a week ago, Garvan’s has established a steady customer base.

According to Garvan McCloskey, the owner of the new restaurant, Garvan’s was open since Valentine’s Day and is open every day from 12 p.m. – 10 p.m., except for Mondays. Garvan’s features an Irish style cottage room for the dining area, and a gastro pub near the back. Garvan’s is located at the former Rock and Rye restaurant, but Garvan recently left Shea O’Brien’s after it’s closing to start something new.

“[Shea O’Brien’s] was everything really. I was managing it for my best friend,” McCloskey said. “Then the previous owner of Rock and Rye contacted me and asked if I could take over and move on to do something else, so I saw the opportunity.”

So he bought the building and made something new with traditional Irish roots. McCloskey hopes customers will get a different experience at Garvan’s. Indeed, the 1759 house, featuring thick, dark wooden ceiling beams, a cozy fireplace and soft white-painted wood paneling add to the multiple sensory experience.

The home style vibe doesn’t stop at the simple décor of the building; Garvan says he tries to utilize as much fresh local produce and meats as possible. He also adds they do not own a microwave in the restaurant, so every meal is heated in a conventional oven.

“It’s a new American cuisine with an Irish twist, everything is made to order. [Meals] are lovingly prepared by our chef Jeff Paige, who has experience throughout the East coast. We are trying to support local producers, too… chicken and beef are local and the produce is local as well to the greatest extent,” McCloskey said.

McCloskey also points out that they get about five to six deliveries of produce and meats every week, furthering his promise to keep fresh food.

Peter Miller, head bartender of Garvan’s, can attest to the quality of food and drink. He regularly selects wines and beers, and mixes drinks with herbs. For example, a cocktail could include bits of lavender and chamomile in gin for a flavorful gulp.

Miller, with previous bartending experience, knows long-time customers from other restaurant businesses in New Paltz, and already sees repeat customers. He has also worked at Bacchus and The Gilded Otter in town, as well as in New Orleans as a cocktail server. He affirms the restaurant’s potential.

“We are already in full swing… we had an interview with a food critic this morning, and this weekend we will be photographed for an advertisement,” Miller said.

And larger parties will be welcome to celebrate weddings and special events when springtime comes. The larger pavilion located in the back of the restaurant will require reservations, and customers are already booking in advance.

Even those who don’t know much about Irish cuisine would try it; Tess Greene, a fourth-year international relations major, said she would be interested in trying Garvan’s because she would like to know more about Irish style foods that relates to her heritage.

And McCloskey invites with a personal thank you to everyone who will dine in, regardless of heritage.

“I want them to feel appreciated, and I want to thank everyone that comes in here. They will feel welcome at Garvan’s house,” McCloskey said.

Take the small travel to 215 Huguenot Street and dine in a cozy cottage atmosphere with friendly servers and home style Irish meals with many local residents.