For 15 years, Declan Synnott has owned and operated the popular Parnell's Pub
on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights. In the ever-fickle bar biz, that's eons.
Synnott, who moved to the States from Dublin, purchased the bar (nee The Charles Stewart Parnell) from its previous owner in 1997. He expanded the bar into the adjoining space in 2004.
Synnott's next expansion will be a tad more ambitious: In March, Parnell's Downtown will open in PlayhouseSquare, in a space that has seen its share of short-lived operations. Most recently, it was home to Corks Wine Bar, which lasted a little less than three years.
"I plan on doing the same thing as Parnell's in the Heights, but just do it downtown," Synnott explains.
That means offering a casual, comfortable atmosphere, live soccer on the tellie, good prices on whiskey and the best Guinness drafts in town, and zero food.
"I want to cohabitate with all the restaurants down there like I have for all these years in Cleveland Heights," he adds. "There is a fine array of restaurants down there already. My expertise is in the beverage side of things. I'm going to stick with what I'm good at."
Other than some cosmetic changes, Synnott does not foresee making any significant changes to the space at 1415 Euclid Avenue (next door to the Allen Theatre), which in recent years also was home to Hamilton's Martini Bar.
Outgoing owner Greg Bodnar says that the crowds never materialized for him at Corks.
"The biggest problem down there is that nothing much goes on unless there's a show; and even then, it's an hour before the show and maybe an hour after," Bodnar explains. "If anything is going to make it there, an Irish bar will have the best chance."
In addition to the theatre crowd, Synnott hopes to attract commuters, neighborhood residents and of-age college students.
Synnott's partner in the business is Joseph Rodgers, who for 16 years was a bartender at Flannery's.
Sources: Declan Synnott, Greg Bodnar
Writer: Douglas Trattner