O’Malley’s Pub Thrives as an Underground Attraction

O’Malley’s Pub Thrives as an Underground Attraction


by


Childhood friends and homebrewers Michael Coakley and Corey Weinfurt became the owners of O’Malley’s Pub, Weston Brewing and American Bowman Restaurant in 2005.

In doing so, they became part of a story that stretches back 175 years.

The Irish pub and live music venue operates in one of five stone cellars. Established in 1842, the original Weston Brewing Company stored and chilled lager beer in oaken tanks in the cellars.

“Patrick and Barbara O’Malley opened the restaurant in 1977,” Weinfurt said. “They cleaned and rented the cellars for wine storage in the early ‘80s.”

The cellars were also used for dinners and live music on weekends. The lower cellar was opened to the public for Irish Fest in 2000 and later started opening on weekends.

“The restaurant and pub have endured in part because of the [cellar’s] unique structure,” Weinfurt said. “The brewery has been more a matter of stubbornness.”

Weinfurt and Coakley learned how to build their business by “studying failures.” Weinfurt said, “It’s always inspiring to read a feel-good story. Knowing what can knock you out and dodging it is also a great feeling.”

Weinfurt considered the long-term, dedicated staff as the company’s greatest achievement.

“We started with the two of us, one full-time employee and maybe 10 part-timers,” he said. “We are now more than 70 people. Working with people you like to make your living and build things together is really rewarding.”

Brewery History

Written by

Pete Dulin is a freelance writer based in Kansas City, Mo. He is also the author of Kansas City Beer: A History of Brewing in the Heartland, KC Ale Trail, Last Bite: 100 Recipes from Kansas City's Best Chefs and Cooks, and Expedition of Thirst: Exploring Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries in Central Kansas and Missouri. // www.petedulin.com

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