There’s big news for springtime at The Irish Pub & Grill, a popular spot at 8009 Hills and Dales Road NW in Jackson Township. A new all-weather patio with seating for 50 to 60 people has a projected March opening.
“It’ll be similar to Loby’s, with sliding glass doors, open year-round with full-service dining,” said Stacy Hoover, general manager of The Irish Pub, which opened in June 2018 after an extensive remodel. Many people know the location for its many years as an Irish Exchange.
Irish Pub owners Randy Thorne and J.B. Abrahams also own Loby’s Bar & Grille in Jackson, Kraus’ Pizza on 30th Street NE in Plain Township and John George’s in Massillon. Here, Hoover talks about the pub, its food and its clientele.
Q. Can you give me a little history of The Irish Pub & Grill?
A. “The Irish Exchange was considered a staple of Massillon. Randy was a fan of it. He wanted to invest and buy it and change it into more of a sit-down restaurant feel than a bar. We’ve slowly transitioned away from what people used to get there, like fried mushrooms and wings. Everything’s fresh now, and we’re incorporating more of what you’d get at a steakhouse, like rib-eyes and prime rib.”
Q. I was looking at your Facebook page and saw enticing photos of dinner specials, things like blackened shrimp over linguini diavolo and rib-eye steak with truffle balsamic glaze.
A. “We have a dinner feature that changes weekly. We’re like a family restaurant with an upscale side. But then we have weekly specials, like $5.99 for a cheeseburger and fries on Tuesday, $5.99 flatbreads on Wednesday, 59 cent wings on Sunday and Monday. Those are dine-in only.”
Q. What are your most popular items?
A. “Our pork chops are very popular, and our flatiron steak and our pierogies are probably the most requested. The pierogies are made in-house, and they’re filled with sausage or corned beef or cheese—lots of different fillings. They change all the time.”
Q. How would you describe your clientele at the pub?
A. “It’s so local, and there are so many regulars. It’s very family-oriented, especially during football season. After games, people come in and bring their kids. A lot of families and a lot of Massillon people. Moms, dads, kids and their grandparents.”
Q. How have things been during COVID-19? Lots of carryout orders?
A. “For a few months there, it was lots of carryout, the phone ringing all the time and very hit or miss with dine-in. We’re starting to get back to normal. We have safety measures in place, partitions between each and every table, we wear masks, we wipe menus down, always washing our hands. People tell us they feel safe when they come in. I feel really safe at work.”