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Samuel Beckett’s Aiming for Saturday Opening

by ARLnow.com January 6, 2011 at 10:30 am 4,174 47 Comments

After enduring several months of delays and setbacks, Samuel Beckett’s Irish Gastro Pub in Shirlington (2800 S. Randolph Street) is preparing to open its doors on Saturday.

“The day has arrived!!! We will open at 3 p.m. this Saturday, January 8th,” owner Mark Kirwan announced on the pub’s Facebook page. “We will only have a restricted food menu. Please be patient with us as we smooth out the bumps for the first week. We look forward to providing you with a memorable experience.”

The elaborately-designed, Irish-themed establishment will be open seven days a week, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m., according to Kirwan. For the first week in operation, it will not be open for lunch or brunch.

Kirwan has been a vocal critic of Arlington’s inspection and permitting process. He vented more frustration Tuesday night:

We had an inspection today, but the angry monster that is Arlington County still has a few “issues” … Thank you so much to everybody for hanging in there and being supportive.

New county board chairman Chris Zimmerman has pledged to improve the permitting process this year.

Photos via Facebook. Hat tip to Shirlington Village Blog.

  • Clarendip

    Looks very pretty!

  • shirley

    why do i get haunting images of Blue & Gold Brewing Company when I see this build out of this space??

  • Clarendip

    In a bit of bad news, the ground floor of the Harris Teeter/Library parking garage has 1-hour meters installed…HT employees said they don’t know when they will be in operation. How annoying.

    • G

      I think you only have to pay for those meters if you are in the spot for more than an hour… to discourage people from parking in the HT garage and then going elsewhere.

      • FedUp


      • Kevin

        I spoke to a customer service rep at HT, they said the meters will have a button on them that gives you a free hour (like Pentagon row). This is to discourage people from parking there and going somewhere other than HT

        • Clarendip

          Ah, OK.

  • Clarendip

    I feel like I should wear a nice hat whilst sitting at the bar.

  • ChrisW

    Add a little “flair” and it looks like a TGI Fridays inside.

    • Courthouse Resident

      Well… at least 37 pieces of flair!

  • Darwin

    I’m going to go down there and get me a pair of “Irish handcuffs”! (Which is traditionally a Guinness in one hand and a Jameson in the other.)

  • just wondering

    On the topic of new bars finally opening….
    Any definite word on when Circa in Clarendon will be welcoming people? Drove by last night and it looked like they were having a staff meeting, so it’s gotta be soon.

    • They say on Facebook that they’ll be open by the end of the month. That’s about as definitive as it’s going to get for now.

  • mehoo

    Will Samuel Beckett be at the opening? It’s his pub after all.

    • Blah

      I’m hoping for an Al and Ziggy appearance too.

      • stevis

        But not Gooshie.

    • mehoo:
      January 6, 2011 at 11:11 am

      > Will Samuel Beckett be at the opening? It’s his pub after all.

      mehoo seems to be asking a serious question. At least nobody who replied laughed.

      FYI, Sam died on December 22, 1989. He was born on FRIDAY, April 13, 1906, in Dublin Ireland (Good Friday). He’s not in heaven right now, or hell either. Here’s what he said about “God”:

      “[Beckett], through the comments and speculations of his invented personalities, explored the absurdities of the Bible from Genesis onward, even entering the mind of the biblical God and taking the logic of the things people believe to its many illogical and absurd conclusions.”

      “When asked his idea of God, Samuel Beckett replied without hesitation that he could only imagine Him as an insane monster.”

      • mehoo

        Not to worry, it was a joke. Nobody laughed because it wasn’t that funny.

  • AllenB

    I think it looks great. Can’t wait to try it.

  • DaltonMinimum

    I am hoping it is not another old fogey bar. We have enough of those in Shirlington already.

    • Bobin

      What do you mean by an old fogie bar, and could you name a few?

  • Likely

    Why is it that people like to vilify the County for their lack of understanding of the process or for their procrastination? It seems very popular these days.

    • Sam

      Uh, it’s a pretty well-known fact among business owners that our County code enforcement folks barely even know their own code so you can’t get the same answer from one representative to the next. It’s even well-known among the code enforcement folks at the County – hence the initiative to stream-line the comprehensive sign plan rules and regulations and other rules and regulations so everyone understands what in the world the rule really is…..

      That’s why people like to vilify the County for these things….it’s the plain, simple truth.

  • Bluemont John

    All I can say is that I’d hate to be living in one of those pricey new condos and waking up every night at 2 AM when people come pouring out of the bar. Even on a weekend that would be very late–but on a weeknight?

  • JoJo

    There must be 17+ floors of office space within 100 yards of the place not including that big silver ITT oval on 395 & the pentagon even further north.

    Why is this place snubbing all of the office workers with a Saturday opening & no lunch on weekdays?

    • shirley

      the big office building that they are in is USPTO — it is a back office building with lower-wage federal workers and they don’t spend money on lunch. much less a liquid lunch.

      • G::NativeArlingtonian

        You obviously don’t know anyone who works at the USPTO…

        • shirley

          challenging the “liquid” or “spending”. PTO actually is apparently one of the better spending staff, but still not as good as private sector people who are always going to lunch on expense accounts.

    • mehoo

      They’ll be serving lunch in a week. Read carefully.

  • Alex Kirk

    I just hope that the prices will be a bit more reasonable than P. Brennan’s. Those guys give you fairly “froofy” food for 25% or more than you’d expect to pay for hearty fare – and as a result, the wife and I don’t bother going there any more, despite our initial excitement when it opened.

    • Runaway Train

      Doubtful that the prices will be more reasonable than P. Brennan’s. P. Brennan’s is an Irish Pub. Samuel Becketts is being marketed as a gastro pub. Prices are usually higher with gastro pubs, although the quality is better too.
      As a Shirlington resident I wish Samuel Beckett’s all the best!

    • ArlingtonS

      I like P. Brennan’s food and do not think they are overpriced. They have reduced their prices and have specials almost everyday. Count me as someone that is glad to have some new businesses along Columbia Pike.

  • Davidm

    Sam Beckett..reminds me of Quantum Leap

  • Dan

    I wonder when the first reservation will be made for the Godot party ??

    • mehoo

      I’ll bet they’ll have to wait forever to get their table.

  • Shall I lead the singalong of The Wild Rover? 🙂 Anway, please be mindful that by this definition (
    A restaurant soft opening takes place just before a restaurant opens for normal business. An important introductory stage, a soft opening is a time when the restaurant can iron out the last of its kinks and gauge how it will operate with

    Read more: What Is a Restaurant Soft Opening? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/facts_7190854_restaurant-soft-opening_.html#ixzz1AHYVqhuB” the opening Saturday is a soft opening.

  • Shane

    Oh boo hoo hoo. The world’s smallest fiddle is playing for you, Mr. Kirwan.

    Just be sure to pay your meals taxes on time. You know, unlike Extra Virgin and Front Page. Don’t sponge off the rest of us Arlington taxpayers.

    • Shane, Why are you being so mean? If you are responding to the post above, I’m not Mark Kirwan.

      • mehoo

        You SAY you’re not Mark Kirwan, but how do we know for sure?

        • Aaron

          What is this, the anti-Spartacus?

          I’m not Mark Kirwan either!

          • Mark Kirwan

            Hi, just checking in. Any message?

          • I’m Chevy Chase, and you’re not. 😀

  • Clarendip

    Mark, are you related to the lead singer of Black 47?

  • SinSA

    I’m really looking forward to trying this place out!

  • Brandon C

    This is just the next in a long line of Bars named after famed Irish writers. Next will be the James Joyce Saloon. It’s always a sad drunken long-winded unreadable night at the James Joyce Saloon!

    It won’t be exclusive to Irish places. I’ve got my fingers crossed for Spike Mendehlson’s new Russian horror-rock themed restaurant, GWAR & Peace.

  • NorthArlSnob

    Too bad its in South Arlington. Not a safe place after dark.

  • Novanglus

    I wonder if the County looked at all the read paint and said it was a sign that advertises the place. Of course, that would only be true if the paint were green.


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