New Irish pub aids in downtown development

Barry Donworth will be opening Bowling Green’s newest restaurant and bar, Cliffs of Moher, an Irish pub. Donworth currently lives in Lexington, where he moved in the early 2000’s for the horse industry. “My family would always come to Bowling Green because of my kids’ soccer, but we fell in love with Bowling Green, the location and the people.”

Rebekah Alvey

A new Irish pub will open downtown over winter break, with intentions of replicating Irish traditions hospitality and community.

Cliffs of Moher Irish Pub will be opening in the vacant space between Capital Theatre and Morris Jewelers on the Square. Co-owner of the pub Peter Quinn from Galway, Ireland, said the pub is set to open mid-December.

With his two partners who are also from Ireland, Quinn said they have years of experience he is excited to combine. Quinn said he has been involved with the Irish pub business for 16 years. Three years ago, Quinn moved to Lexington, where he worked in a similar pub.


Quinn said he and his partners were looking to expand outside Lexington because it was becoming “saturated” with other local restaurants and bars. One of Quinn’s partners remembered his brief visit to Bowling Green for a soccer tournament and decided the city would be a good option expansion.

After visiting Bowling Green, Quinn said he and his partners believe the city is a place with potential for growth as a local community and is developing in a positive direction.

Cliffs of Moher Irish Pub gets it’s name from a famous location in Ireland along the West Coast. Quinn said out of the many visitors the Cliffs of Moher sees each year, many are from the US.

“We hope when people come, they get a sample of the Irish community on their doorstep,” Quinn said.

Through the pub, Quinn said he hopes people come to sample Irish culture through the hospitality, drinks and music. The menu consists of drinks only with a selection of Irish beers and specialty drinks.

Quinn said the owners have been working on the project since June. Through the process, they have been able to meet with some of the other local vendors on the Square, Quinn said.

Quinn said everyone they have met from Bowling Green has been very welcoming of the new pub.

Kristen Robinette is the owner of Back Down South, a boutique that has been open for nearly two years on the Square. Robinette said she is excited for the pub opening because it contributes to the downtown development.

“Who doesn’t love a good downtown?” Robinette said.

From her experience, Robinette said vendors located on the Square get along well and work together to create more growth and business in the area. She said Bowling Green is a big enough city that another pub opening gives people more options and drives more people to the downtown area.

Calvin Wiley, owner of Roam Sandwich Company, said people in the community are trying to make downtown a “happening place.” Roam Sandwich Company opened in January 2017, located in an alley behind the Square.

Wiley said the local business community is supportive of each other and find ways to promote local businesses whenever possible. While he has not been able to meet the owners of Cliffs of Moher, Wiley said there have been discussions of providing or promoting food for the pub since there are currently no in-store options.

“The more things on the Square, the better,” Wiley said.

Reporter Rebekah Alvey can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected].