Left to right: O'Meara's owner Bill McDonald; Shana Frankel Margate Chamber of Commerce; Margate Vice Mayor Le Peerman
It’s not easy taking over an existing business. Some regular customers stay - some go. The hiring of new employees is inevitable and establishing a reputation for quality is job one.
It’s a challenge facing Bill McDonald, the owner of O’Meara’s Irish Pub, formerly Mugshots, in Margate’s Chevy Chase Plaza. A certified home inspector and Margate resident for 11 years, McDonald recently purchased the bar and invested thousands in a makeover - including a name change.
“An Irish name says a lot. It promotes a warm, relaxed atmosphere and is inviting. We want people to feel welcome and comfortable here,” McDonald told MargateNews.net.
More than just fresh paint on an old interior, the new owner has expanded pool and dart facilities at the bar, installed flats screens for football season and enhanced the outside patio which seats 20. O’Meara’s is open seven days a week and serves wings, cheese sticks, jalapeno poppers, French fries, soft pretzels and other mouthwatering pub food.
“What he needs to do is make this a place where people can come and have a beer with friends, shoot pool or play darts,” Margate Commissioner, Joanne Simone, said at a soft opening of O'Meara's last week.
Simone, along with Margate Vice Mayor Le Peerman and Commissioner Tommy Ruzzano, joined 100 others in celebrating McDonald’s new place. Members of the City’s Chamber of Commerce gave their support and GEM, the restaurant next to O’Meara’s, put out a spread people raved about. Although O’Meara’s doesn’t have a full kitchen - GEM does - so customers can get a burger, quesadilla, ribs and homemade soup at the bar.
O'Meara's features live bands and karaoke, drink specials and subscribes to DirectTV's NFL Sunday Ticket, so pub goers can watch all their favorite games. Though McDonald has accomplished a lot in a short period of time, there's more revitalizing to come.
"You haven't seen anything yet. We're bringing in products people want and will continue to make positive changes to both the inside and out. We're already seeing people that never would have come before," he said.
What: O'Meara's Irish Pub
Where: 1049 State Road 7 Margate (corner of Margate Blvd. and State Rd. 7)
When: 7 days a week - 9am - 2 am Sunday - Thursday / 9am - 4 am Friday & Saturday
Menu: Limited pub food
Drinks: Beer/wine/light cocktails