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Farley Mac’s opens with varied menu

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Standing behind the new oak bar, one of the changes made at the restaurant, are Kevin Matthews, chef, and Kevin Farley, owner of Farley Mac’s in Simsbury.

SIMSBURY – The restaurant’s name is Farley Mac’s, but it’s not an Irish pub.

The new eatery at 1616 Hopmeadow St. near the Granby line is owned by an Irishman, Kevin Farley, and it feels like a pub. His philosophy, however, is to use quality ingredients for a varied menu of comfort food.

“We’re a quaint, friendly place where people came come and enjoy themselves and have good food and drink,” he said. “We have something for everyone, to bring people together. There’s no simpler form of entertainment.”

Some menu examples are grilled cheese bites served with tomato soup; New England clam chowder; spinach salad; pulled pork sandwich; and pesto pasta. Recent special items featured Not Your Mom’s Meatloaf and Tuscan Pork Chops.

In creating special menu offerings, Farley collaborates with his chef, Kevin Matthews of Granby, a Simsbury High graduate.

“I’m glad to be serving area residents,” Matthews said.

In addition to a wine and beer list that includes Farley Mac’s Amber Ale, made for them by Cottrell Brewing in Stonington, the bar offers a specialty cocktail menu.

Farley Mac’s, located in the building formerly occupied by Thai Ocha, opened on July 30 following five months of renovation work and despite the coronavirus.

“We gutted the kitchen and redid it, painted, and built a new oak bar,” he said. “No one had a clue that the pandemic would last this long so we kept going.”

With seating for 28 at tables in front of the restaurant street-side, outdoor dining has been brisk and the business has been promoted through word of mouth and social media.

“We’re getting a lot of support,” Farley said.

Now that the weather is cooler, he is strategizing ways to optimize his indoor space, where people can feel the warmth of a fireplace featuring a wood-burning pot belly stove.

Having his own restaurant has been a longtime dream for Windsor resident Farley, 52, a married father of two school-age children. He has worked in the restaurant industry for several years, including stints at The Great American Café in Glastonbury, Coach’s Sports Bar in Hartford and as a partner at Union Tavern in Windsor. More recently he was general manager at the Polish National Home of Hartford, his inspiration for including kielbasa and pierogis on the menu.

“I’ve done it all in the business and have a knack for knowing what a customer wants when I meet them,” he said. “Owning Farley Mac’s is my 45th job in life and I plan for it to be my last.”

His dream was realized via the generosity of Amy and Freddie Morris of Venice, Florida. A friend of Morris’ since second grade in Windsor, Farley served as best man at their wedding in 2009 and struck up a conversation with the bride’s father, Brian MacNamara, an investor who loved to help people with small business start-ups. After Mr. MacNamara passed away, daughter Amy remembered that conversation.

“I recalled how much my father wanted to pursue a business venture with Kevin,” she said.

“Amy and Freddie reached out to invest and be partners with me, and Farley Mac’s was born,” Farley said, explaining that the Mac’s part of the restaurant name derives from MacNamara. “I’m very grateful to them and couldn’t have asked for a better gift.”

There’s another component to the name – an image that appears between Farley and Mac’s. It’s an open heart with a shamrock inside, duplicating a tattoo that Amy had inked on her shoulder in memory of her dad.

Farley Mac’s is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., with hours possibly expanding soon. Happy Hour runs from 2 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and Bloody Mary’s are $5 on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to accompany the regular menu.

For information, call 860-325-5162, visit www.farleymacs.com or follow https://www.facebook.com/Farley-Macs-105608327716741, where daily specials are posted.


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