, a restaurant and bar that has been in the Gillane family for 45 years, will soon be owned by owner Lou Barson, Gillane's owner Mary Pat Gillane told Patch last week. The Ardmore establishment, located at 43 Cricket Ave., was bought by Gillane’s father in 1966.
Lou Barson, who owns Hymie’s Deli and 14 other properties across Pennsylvania and New Jersey, will co-own the property with his brother-in-law Brad Paul, of . The transfer should be final by late June, according to Barson.
While the transfer is definitely bittersweet, Gillane said, her intense work schedule was the deciding factor for the sale.
“I’m the only one here—no brothers or sisters—so seven days a week, 70 hours a week—it’s getting to be too much,” Gillane said. “I’m just tired, and I’ve been doing it for too long.”
After talking to Gillane, Paul approached Barson about the property in March, and the property was under agreement by mid-April.
“My brother-in-law came to me and said he’d heard Gillane’s was on the market, and asked if I wanted to get involved,” Barson explained. “… I have 15 minutes a day free in my week, so I thought, ‘Why not add another restaurant?’”
All joking aside, “Gillane’s will remain Gillane’s,” Barson said. “It will still be an Irish pub and restaurant … but, we’ll give it a nice facelift.”
That facelift includes making it brighter and lighter, putting in some new booths, adding a POS system—the pub is currently “old school,” Barson said—and tweaking the menu, while keeping the main staples people love at Gillane's.
“We’ll make some improvements to the ambiance, … and we’ll add some lighter fare, add more salads, but the staples, like their wonderful homemade soups, shepherd’s pie, fresh fish they get in daily—all those things will remain,” Barson said.
The staff will also largely remain the same, including the tavern’s current chef and wait staff. “We’ll continue to add on as the store becomes busier, but we’re not cleaning house,” he assured.
Barson said he and Paul are expecting a late June takeover, after the transfer is approved.
Some business owners on Cricket Avenue are worried about how their business will be affected by the Ardmore Transit Project plans, which have the potential to shut down the Cricket Avenue municipal parking lot for several years. Barson, however, is not worried, he said.
“I’m excited about the project and about Ardmore growing,” Barson said. “… It’s been true for me in business that sometimes you have to bite the bullet now to reap the benefits and rewards later. … I’m putting my money where my mouth is, in anticipation of … a great, exciting new area.”
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