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A taste of Ireland in Northfield

Knotty Shamrock opens its doors, gets a taste of success

By Chelsea Copeland
On October 20, 2011


Don't let the name fool you. Northfield's new pub is bringing plenty of business to the town of Northfield, according to the owners, who are Norwich graduates.

Kevin Pecor and John Lyon are Northfield natives who attended local schools.

"(We) knew there weren't a lot of options (for college students)," said Lyon, class of 1999.

"It's an authentic Irish pub," said Pecor, who joined the Marines two years after graduation. "It's a place to come enjoy yourself."

The pub opened up its doors on Aug. 7 and, according to the Knotty Shamrock Facebook page, the grand opening was Sept. 17.

Shaphan Markelon, Norwich class of 1997, is the executive chef and has been working on the menu. "I really want to try to incorporate as many local farms as I can," said Markelon. He said the ideas of the food "came from Ireland, but (we are) using local products to support the community."

While some students and locals go to enjoy the food, others go to enjoy themselves and have a drink or two.

"They have a good drink selection," said Zak Sucharski, 21, a senior criminal justice major from Buffalo, N.Y.

The creation of the drinks came from Pat "Red Beard" Dwyer, the bar manager. According to the owners, they are serving "some Vermont made brews."

One Vermont-made brew served at the pub is Switchback, a "reddish-amber ale," according to Switchback's Facebook page. "I like to go and enjoy one (a glass of Switchback)," said Sucharski.

Some students say prices are fair.

Jessica Rosado, 21, a senior civil engineering major from Bronx, N.Y. said, "It was very reasonable for a beer. It was $3.50 for a bottled beer."

Some students have tried the food and enjoyed it and others have favorites elsewhere.

"I like the Rustic's food better," said Sucharski.

"I had the nachos once and they were delicious," said Rosado.

College students are not the only customers; there are also locals, professors and senior citizens, said the owners.

"We had professors in here the other day eating, then we had college students in here later on watching football," said Markelon.

The Knotty Shamrock is a "traditional Irish pub where we tend to see families and friends in the early evening and the younger adults and patrons staying later," said Pecor, "That's exactly what we were looking for."

Nikki Leclair, 21, a senior biology major from Maine, said, "I usually go for drinking and socializing, that's what you tend to see most students doing."

Leclair hasn't tried the food but she "enjoys going to hang out with friends."

According to students the distance is making it easier for students of age to go out and enjoy themselves.

"The distance definitely makes it better because it's only like a 30-second walk and the Rustic is a two-minute drive," said Sucharski.

The owners say there is "a steady flow of customers" coming in during the week and throughout the weekend.

"We're extremely busy anywhere from 5 p.m. to 8:30 or 9 p.m.," said Pecor. "It's usually wait to be seated and even after that it's usually full."

Students said they tend to come in more on Friday and Saturday nights to socialize.

"I like going here, there is a laid-back bar atmosphere and you tend to usually see college students," said Sucharski.

"You definitely get the idea of an Irish pub and everyone there is laid back," said Rosado.

Some students feel improvements could be made. "It gets a little hot and cramped," said Sucharski.

"They could use more seating," said Leclair,

"When there are a lot of people you can't move around all that great and you have to stand up," added Rosado.

The hours of the pub are Monday, Thursday and Friday from 4:30 p.m. to close, and 11 a.m. to close Saturday and Sunday.

The pub offers a lunch menu from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and has a late-night menu "with wings and burgers," said Markelon.

If you have been there and you enjoy them, "like us on Facebook," said Lyon.

As of now, the owners have no expansion plans.

"We talked about maybe some more seating, said Markelon. "We don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves."

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