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O’Sullivan’s to Unveil New Addition

by Katie Pyzyk | January 29, 2013 at 4:00 pm | 2,000 views | 30 Comments

It’s taken about six months of construction and renovations, but O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub (3207 Washington Blvd) is ready to unveil its expansion.

The bar has taken over the space previously occupied by Fragrance World and Sam’s Corner. Owner Anselm Griffiths said there are still about two weeks worth of small projects to accomplish before the bar is considered finished.

Griffiths and his wife, the bar’s namesake Karen O’Sullivan, have owned the business for about seven years and have been interested in expansion nearly from the get go.

“I think we’ve had our eye on the little fragrance shop since we moved in,” Griffiths said. “When the space became available we were very happy to grab it up.”

The new space has been converted into a whiskey bar, with room for table seating. Bartenders will serve up more than 100 brands of whiskey, along with an expanded selection of tap beers.

“We definitely wanted to have a second bar to give us the ability to do private functions, which is something we’ve been turning away since we opened,” Griffiths said. “We think whiskey is sort of a great niche to get into, it’s definitely trending right now. I think a lot of the young people are getting back to more classic drinks.”

Much of the menu will stay the same for now, but there will be an effort to incorporate more of the whiskeys into sauces.

Despite the new bar, extra seating and additional restrooms, management wants customers to know O’Sullivan’s largely remains the same.

“We’re still keeping the character of O’Sullivan’s. It’s a family owned bar, that’s how it’s going to stay,” said General Manager Patrick Doody. “We will preserve the atmosphere that’s been really successful for us. That’s not going anywhere, we just have an extra room. What made us a really good local neighborhood Irish bar will stay the same.”

The exterior has been restored to how the building looked in the 1920s.

“Arlington County had a lot of say in the design of the exterior because the building was marked for historical preservation,” Griffiths said. “It was fun working with Arlington County on that. We spent a little more time and money, but it is really neat to restore the building.”

Tonight there will be a “soft opening” for invited guests, but the public will be able to get a peek at the changes on Thursday (January 31). An official grand opening celebration is being planned, and will feature a buffet and live band. An announcement on the date for that event is forthcoming, but it’s expected to be in about two weeks. Until then, the managers hope people come in to check out the upgrades.

“We’re looking forward to the new challenges of the new whiskey bar. We’re looking forward to more regulars, more people coming through the doors,” Doody said. “O’Sullivan’s is staying the same, it’s just getting a little bit bigger.”

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  • Deadite

    Really hoping this place doesn’t become douchey, but I’m afraid the addition of a whiskey bar will make it so.

  • CrystalMikey

    Congrats to them, it looks great!

  • speonjosh

    Do young people “get back into” anything? Winnie the Pooh? Naptime?
    Young people getting back into classic drinks. The concept just chaps my hide. It’s called growing up. The “classic drinks” never went anywhere…..

    • OldMan

      In my day, we drank warm wood alcohol – and we liked it !

      • CourthouseChris

        And now we have wormwood alcohol.

  • YTK

    Looks nice! O’Sullivan’s has been on that block for a long time. Seen alot of changes I am sure.Nice to know there is still a part of the “old Arlington ” around — makes me happy. (So does Irish coffee…..!)

    • Buster

      O’Sullivan’s (and Molly Malone’s before it) have only been on that block for less than a decade — not quite a relic of “old Arlington.”

      • DCBuff

        Apparently, “old Arlington” means different things to different people. I’m just pleased that O’Sullivans is not some fake Irish chain pub. That and it is the closest bar to my house.

    • Clarendon

      I’m trying to remember what was there before Molly Malones ?

      • JROG

        I believe it was Joseph’s

        • BBMS

          You’ve confused MM’s with Kitty OShea’s

          • Clarendon

            Was there more than one Josephs ? The only one I remember is the one where Wilson Tavern is (formerly Kitty O’Sheas).

            Actually now that I think about it I think it may have been a bakery that never seemed to have anything before it was Molly Malones.

      • Brittany

        Joseph’s?

        • born_and_raised

          Joseph’s was my uncles place and there was only one of them. It was where Wilson Tavern is now (formerly Kitty O’shay’s)

      • fedworker

        Joesph’s, I believe.

  • novasteve

    I still think they should get the vacated Indian restaurant and make that their “cigar” bar.. H ow long is that place going to sit vacant?

  • novasteve

    Are clarendonskank and drunkirishchick whiskey fans?

    • Drunk_IrishChick

      Why Yes I love me some Whiskey!!! Wack fall the daddy O there is whiskey in the jar!

  • JROG

    I believe it was Joseph’s?

  • Deadite

    Fingers crossed that this place won’t become D-bag central.

    • CourthouseChris

      Prepare to be disappointed!

      • novasteve

        Because they have more rent now, they’re going to need to either raise prices, or hope for more customers. I don’t like crowded, elbow to elbow places, hence why I don’t go there much these days, especially on weekends. My question is how will they deal with noise complaints as new apartment buildings go up there? As a lot of the customers go outside for a certain activity.

  • D-bag

    So glad to hear this spot is finally gonna go live! Def hitting it up Thursday with my crew.

  • Matt

    From Paddy’s lips to God’s ears. Hopefully the expansion and visibility won’t draw the dreaded Clarendouches and it can retain its Sunday-early Thursday local pub atmosphere (let’s face it, all of Clarendon belongs to the Clarendouches and the Exburbidouches Thursday night through Saturday night…).

    • not a douche

      All those anyonewhodoesn’tlivewhereilivedouches too!

  • Drunk_IrishChick

    Cant wait to check out all the Hot Doormen!!! oh and drink Whiskey…

  • Billy_Badas

    Cant wait to take 17 shots and fight someone!

  • CSEM

    Wonderful place and great food. The extension onto Wilson puts class in place of whatever that eye sore was on the corner. Fun place to hang and now double. Well Done!

    • snarl

      i believe,sir, that the “eyesore” was the infamous Sam’s Corner…….RIP Sam’s

  • http://clarendonnights.com Clarendon Nights

    Very happy for O’Sullivan’s expanding and keeping true to their original theme. I saw the new additions last night and look forward to their grand opening.

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