Ken Wade, founder of Paddy Mac’s Irish Pub in Palm Beach Gardens, explains the reason it was time to sell his restaurant. “My golf game wasn’t getting any better.”
With typical Irish wit, he called to tell me about the sale, saying he’s looking forward to “having some time to put my feet up, play golf, eat some good meals.”
He will still be involved in the restaurant – just not the pressure of day to day operations, he said.
“The new owners are Richard and Helen Fowler. They’re from the Carolinas and have been regular customers since the day we opened 18 years ago.
‘They hired Hugh Jackson, our bartender, as general manager.” Jackson has been with the traditional Irish pub since it opened.
Wade will stay on as menu consultant and event planner – and be the “face” up front. He’ll also be around to plan and oversee the huge St. Paddy’s Day party the restaurant throws annually.
A favorite stop for golfers
Wade and his well known golf interests have drawn the pros from the PGA tournaments over the years to the bar. Other Irish notables – those coming for races at Palm Beach Speedway, and even Boston’s mayor, dined here or enjoyed a Guinness expertly pulled by Jackman.
Wade, from Ireland, brought in staff also from the Emerald Isle, and incorporated recipes over the years that represented his homeland. Cottage and Guinness pies are favorites here.
A big community supporter, Wade sponsored an annual golf tournament to benefit the Quantum House, a home-away-from-home for families with sick children at St. Mary’s. The tournament has raised thousands over the years for the facility.
Before opening Paddy Mac’s, Wade ran Harpoon Louie’s, a seafood restaurant on the Jupiter Inlet and took several staff with him. To take care of the workers, Wade made the sale contingent on keeping the staff and restaurant as is, with only minor tweaks to the menu seasonally.
“All the staff will be staying. A lot of them have been with me 30 years now.”
- 10971 N. Military Trail, Palm Beach Gardens
- 561-691-4366; paddymacspub.com
- Open Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to midnight; Friday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sunday, 4 p.m.-11:30 p.m.