As Finaghty’s Irish Pub on Snoqualmie Ridge nears its 6th anniversary, owners Phil Stafford and Lisa McCord are preparing to say goodbye to the family-friendly, community-driven restaurant and pub they created from scratch.
Finaghty’s opened in February 2008 and quickly became a neighborhood favorite. In fact, it was so crowded from opening day, that Phil and Lisa expanded, doubling their space after only 9 months in business.
Stafford said he and Lisa looked at many offers for their successful business over the years, but had never found the right fit – never found potential owners who had a strong interest in keeping the pub active in the community. Stafford explained, “That was important for us as we considered moving on.”
It looks like they finally found that fit with local Eastside brothers, Greg and Eric Contreras. And if all goes as planned, they will take over operations of Finaghty’s Friday, November 22, 2013.
Greg and Eric are no stranger to the bar and pub business, bringing over 20 years of experience to Finaghty’s. They currently operate five other establishments, mostly on the Eastside, from Factoria to Lynnwood. The brothers both attended Lake Washington High School, graduated from the University of Washington and now reside in the Kirkland and Woodinville areas.
Greg said via email, “Our plans are to leave all of the current staff in place and the menu will mostly remain the same.” He added, though, that they would like to add pizza and possibly burgers to the menu.
Current Finaghty’s manager, Brian Meek, will continue running the pub and greeting patrons from behind the bar – and Greg said they hope to keep the same strong musical connections and community involvement that Phil and Lisa created.
For Stafford, the sale is bittersweet. Finaghty’s was a personal venture for him, naming the pub for his mother’s Irish side of the family. Phil said it will take time to mentally separate from it, adding, “I have mixed feelings selling Finaghty’s…but it is comforting knowing that all of the work we put into the business and community will continue on through the new ownership.”
In the meantime, to make the transition as smooth as possible, Phil says he will assist Greg and Eric, supporting them to continue Finaghty’s tradition of live music events. Additionally, he will continue his volunteer work with Snoqualmie Railroad Days, allowing him to keep channeling his interest in live local music.
What’s been the icing on the business ownership cake for Phil and Lisa these past six years? Phil says, “The obvious bonus for us was meeting so many amazing people in our community that would have not been possible without it [Finaghty’s].”
Thank you Phil and Lisa for crating a great neighborhood gathering spot and a legacy of strong community involvement. Greg and Eric – welcome to Snoqualmie!