By Katie Callahan (File photo)
One of Old Town’s most storied watering holes is no more. And you can bet Pat Troy is among the mourners.
After building Ireland’s Own into an Old Town institution over three decades, Troy was ready to hand over the keys. In October 2012, the Irishman-turned-Alexandrian did just that, passing it off to longtime employees Scott Holdt and Margaret Keane following one last blowout at the 111 N. Pitt St. restaurant.
But less than two years after his retirement, the doors are locked up tight and the patio tables that once overlooked North Pitt Street are missing. Ireland’s Own is bankrupt, and Troy is out a lot of money.
The trouble began about a year after the night Troy led his regulars in one last rendition of “The Unicorn Song” and accepted toasts — as well as a bit of good-natured ribbing — from local dignitaries and city officials. In September 2013, Holdt and Keane filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
By November of that year, the owners weren’t paying taxes or bills, according to documents filed in bankruptcy court. Still, they paid employees and covered insurance premiums.
Six months later, though, the bottom had fallen out. Last month, they entered into Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which generally leads to the liquidation of assets to pay off debts.
According to the court documents, the limited liability company Holdt and Keane formed, IOP, LLC, owed $317,284.22 to their largest debtors as of November.
Of that, $180,000 belongs to Troy and his wife, Bernie.
By December, Holdt and Keane owed an additional $5,596.48 for utilities. The owners did have $290,875 in assets, or value in their property holdings through financial accounts, credit, customer information, office supplies, inventory and memorabilia.
Messages left with Holdt’s attorney were not returned. An IOP, LLC representative responded to a request for more information made on the pub’s website, but declined to comment on the closure.
Troy, disappointed in the state of his old pub, is not shy about saying he would have done things differently. At his retirement party in 2012, he made it clear he wanted to continue playing a role in the business. Looking back, he wishes his successors had taken him up on the offer.
“It’s a sad way to see it going [out of business] when it should be going for another 33 years,” Troy said. “In my 34 years, I had great memories of that place. It went so fast.”
The pub’s other major debtors include its landlord, a table reservation app company as well as state and city tax agencies, according to court documents.
Ireland’s Own shuttered its doors May 30 after the landlord, Tavern Square, LLC, took back control of the property. The sentimental value of the memorabilia left inside the restaurant and the memory of what Ireland’s Own once meant to people sits poorly with Troy.
“I was no dummy. I made money on it [for] years,” Troy said. “It was an institution. [It is full of] memories of brides finding grooms, boyfriends and girlfriends, and troops. It was a gathering place for history: [former President Ronald] Reagan, senators, governors and regular people. They go out to have a good time and I made sure it did that.
“This is the end of the story, the end of the funeral for Ireland’s Own. It’s now buried and you just walk away.”